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Woman Killed By Tiger in Beijing Safari Park – Who is Responsible?

One Chinese woman was killed and one injured by a tiger’s attack when they exited their car in the middle of a wildlife park in Beijing. Netizens now wonder if the safari park should be held responsible for the tragic incident.

Manya Koetse

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One Chinese woman was killed and one injured by a tiger’s attack when they exited their car in the middle of a wildlife park in Beijing. Netizens now wonder if the safari park should be held responsible for the tragic incident.

Security cameras captured how a woman was attacked by a tiger on Saturday July 23 in Beijing Badaling Wildlife World (八达岭野生动物世界). The news and footage of the initial attack, shared by CCTV on Weibo on July 24, became trending on Chinese social media.

The video shows a white car stopping in the middle of the safari park, and a woman coming out from the passenger’s side. She walks up to the driver’s side but is then attacked by a tiger from behind and dragged away. The driver and a backseat passenger come out of the car and run after the woman.

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The incident left one person dead, and one person injured. According to various Chinese media, both were women in a company of four.

The young woman who got out of the car reportedly had an argument with her husband, who was in the driver’s seat, and got out of the car. The elder woman who came to her rescue as she was dragged away is the one who died; the younger woman sustained injuries. It is not clear if the elder woman was the woman’s mother. There was also a child present in the car.

The park’s official Weibo account and official website do not mention the accident. The website does mention the park will be closed due to “heavy rain”, although other sources say that it was ordered to close due to the incident.

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According to CCTV, the park rules clearly state that visitors are not to leave their cars at any times and keep door and windows securely locked.

Nevertheless, many netizens do wonder if the park is to be held responsible and if they should compensate the families of the victims.

This is not the first tragedy taking place in the Badaling Wildlife park. The managing director of the park got trampled and killed by an elephant in the park’s elephant house in March of this year.

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In 2009, an 18-year-old man was killed by a tiger after he had trespassed the park’s safari area. In 2014, one of the zoo’s guards was also attacked and killed by a tiger.

The YouTube video below shows visitor’s footage of the park from 2013. The video shows that people can get close to the animals in a ‘safari’ setting. It also shows a bear drinking orange juice, parents putting their children on the back of deer and horses that seem to be in poor body condition.

According to Chinese media outlet The Oberver, sources close to the husband of the deceased victim stated they were not aware that they were still within the range of the wildlife safari, and thought they had already left.

The park indicates that its ranger honked the horn from the jeep to warn the woman not to get out of the car, but that they could not stop them from doing so.

“If you would exit the park, it is very clearly marked by a huge fence,” one netizen comments.

“This is the same as someone opening a window on an airplane,” one commenter says.

Some netizens say all parties, except for the tiger, are at fault in this matter: “Firstly, the tiger bears no responsibility for this. Secondly, the woman has no brains for coming out of the car like that. Thirdly, the park should not have visitors drive around by themselves like that.”

The case is currently under investigation. The whereabouts of the tiger are unclear. “Please don’t tell me they killed this tiger because of this moron getting out of the car,” one netizen says.

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

China and Covid19

Fresh Off the Boat, Xiamen Fish Are Tested for Covid-19

Catch of the day! These fish in Xiamen can’t escape their daily Covid test.

Manya Koetse

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It does not matter if you’re old or young, shrimp or fish – you can’t escape China’s zero-covid policy.

In the Jimei district of the coastal city of Xiamen, some fish and shrimp also had to do a nucleic acid test this week, leading to some banter on Chinese social media.

In the area, fishermen returning from a day of work have to undergo nucleic acid tests together with some of the fish that they caught during the day.

After the fishermen themselves have done the Covid test, they reportedly have to grab a few fresh fish from their catch of the day for the anti-epidemic workers to test. They open the mouth of the fish so that the fish can be tested with the cotton swab.

Chinese media outlet Sohu (搜狐新闻) posted a video about the issue on its Weibo account on August 17th, receiving over 90,000 likes and more than 8000 shares.

“I thought fish didn’t any lungs?” a popular comment said, with other commenters suggesting that this news made it clear that Covid “doesn’t affect the lungs but the brain instead.”

Another commenter suggested that if this matter concerned authorities, they should also start testing mosquitos.

Some also felt bad for the fish: “They still have to undergo this before getting killed.”

“The fish should be grateful for receiving a Covid test for free,” others wrote, while there were also people who wondered if parts of the sea would go into lockdown mode if some fish would test positive for Covid.

There were also critical commenters wondering about any scientific reasoning behind testing fish, asking who was getting paid to test them – suggesting commercial benefits outweigh scientific basis in this case.

“You can’t get Covid if you don’t have lungs, let alone if you live in the sea,” one Weibo user wrote, another person asking: “Have we all gone mad?”

By Manya Koetse
With contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

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China Animals

‘Welcome Home, Molly’ – Chinese Zoo Elephant Returns to Kunming after Online Protest

One small step for animal protection in China, one giant leap for Molly the elephant.

Manya Koetse

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Following online protest and the efforts of animal activists, Molly has returned to the Kunming Zoo where she was born and where mother elephant Mopo is.

The little elephant named Molly is a big topic of discussion on Chinese social media recently.

The popular Asian elephant, born in the Kunming Zoo in 2016, was separated from her mother at the age of two in April of 2018. Molly was then transferred from Kunming Zoo to Qinyang, Jiaozuo (Henan), in exchange for another elephant. Over the past few years, fans of Molly started voicing their concerns online as the elephant was trained to do tricks and performances and to carry around tourists on her back at the Qinyang Swan Lake Ecological Garden (沁阳天鹅湖生态园), the Qinyang Hesheng Forest Zoo (沁阳和生森林动物园), the Jiaozuo Forestry Zoo (焦作森林动物园), and the Zhoukou Safari Park (周口野生动物世界).

Since the summer of 2021, more people started speaking out for Molly’s welfare when they spotted the elephant chained up and seemingly unhappy, forced to do handstands or play harmonica, with Molly’s handlers using iron hooks to coerce her into performing.

Earlier this month, Molly became a big topic on Chinese social media again due to various big accounts on Xiaohongshu and Weibo posting about the ‘Save Molly’ campaign and calling for an elephant performance ban in China (read more).

Although zookeepers denied any animal abuse and previously stated that the elephant is kept in good living conditions and that animal performances are no longer taking place, Molly’s story saw an unexpected turn this week. Thanks to the efforts of online netizens, Molly fans, and animal welfare activists, Molly was removed from Qinyang.

A popular edited image of Molly that has been shared a lot online.

On May 15, the Henan Forestry Bureau – which regulates the holding of all exotic species, including those in city zoos – announced that Molly would return to Kunming in order to provide “better living circumstances” for the elephant. A day later, on Monday, Molly left Qinyang and returned to the Kunming Zoo where she was born. In Kunming, Molly will first receive a thorough health check during the observation period.

Official announcement regarding Molly by the Henan Forestry Administration.

Many online commenters were happy to see Molly returning home. “Finally! This is great news,” many wrote, with others saying: “Please be good to her” and “Finally, after four years of hardship, Molly will be reunited with her mother.”

Besides regular Weibo accounts celebrating Molly’s return to Kunming, various Chinese state media accounts and official accounts (e.g. the Liaocheng Communist Youth League) also posted about Molly’s case and wished her a warm welcome and good wishes. One Weibo post on the matter by China News received over 76,000 likes on Monday.

Although many view the effective online ‘Save Molly’ campaign as an important milestone for animal welfare in China, some animal activists remind others that there are still other elephants in Chinese zoos who need help and better wildlife protection laws. Among them are the elephant Kamuli (卡目里) and two others who are still left in Qinyang.

For years, animal welfare activists in China and in other countries have been calling for Chinese animal protection laws. China does have wildlife protection laws, but they are often conflicting and do not apply to pets and there is no clear anti-animal abuse law.

“I’ll continue to follow this. What are the next arrangements? What is the plan for Molly and the other elephants? How will you guarantee a safe and proper living environment?”

Another Weibo user writes: “This is just a first step, there is much more to be done.”

To follow more updates regarding Molly, check out Twitter user ‘Diving Paddler’ here. We thank them for their contributions to this article.

To read more about zoos and wildlife parks causing online commotion in China, check our articles here.

By Manya Koetse

References (other sources linked to within text)

Arcus Foundation (Ed.). 2021. State of the Apes: Killing, Capture, Trade and Ape Conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

China Daily. 2012. “Animal Rights Groups Seek Performance Ban.” China Daily, April 16 http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2012-04/16/content_25152066.htm [Accessed May 1 2022].

Li, Peter J. 2021. Animal Welfare in China: Culture, Politics and Crisis. Sydney: Sydney University Press.

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©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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