Releasing Captive Tigers

Releasing Tigers - Page 1: Releasing Captive-Bred Species | 2 & 3: Issues Specific To The Tiger |
4 to 9: Xiongsheng Bear & Tiger Entertainment City | 10&11: Tiger Moon Sanctuary

The show starts:

Later in the afternoon, we attended the wild tiger show in an indoor auditorium, where we were to witness young tigers attempting to kill a bull and a pig.

Playing with the pig:

The pig was led out first into the arena, before the keepers closed the gates behind him and left him looking bewildered as he faced the bars which separated him from the tigers enclosures. Two of the gates began to open and each of the tigers behind bounded across to the nervous animal. They appeared to be more interested in play and, began nipping at the pigs legs, whilst he grew more frightened. The tigers became more excited and, although the pig squealed and circled many times to keep his more vulnerable sides away from the cats, it wasn't long before they had brought him down. The pig began to defecate in fright and several large wounds were seen on his body whilst one tiger kept him pinned to the ground for several minutes by the throat. The pig was badly shocked and wounded, but still alive and staggering when the performance was brought to an end. Although the tigers had the basic instinct for killing the pig, it seems that they had little idea of how to put it into practice and considered it to be a game.

The hunting of the bull:

The bull was then led out into the arena and, after several seconds, some gates opened releasing two different tigers than before. These tigers were larger than the previous pair and intent on attack. One immediately pounced onto the bull's back and began raking at its skin, whilst the animal bellowed in pain. Once the bull's skin was punctured and the blood began to flow, the first tiger refused to let his quarry go. 

For the next thirty minutes, he continually chewed away at the bull's back, stripping and eating pieces of flesh, or licking the blood from the wound. The bull continually bawled in pain and stress, whilst struggling to stand and walk away.

Each time, he would be dragged back down onto the ground by the tiger who was trying to eat his flesh, but had no idea how to keep him still. As he grew weaker, the bull would sit prone on the ground for several minutes, before trying to rise, whilst the tiger continued to feed from his back. People began to leave the arena but the tiger was allowed to continue feeding.

Diesel pick up:

After a while, a man driving a diesel truck entered the ring and began driving straight for the bull. It became obvious that he was not going to stop and proceeded to drive over the bull's head. The animal alternated between groaning in pain, or silent in shock, and desperately tried to rise from the ground on several occasions. The truck continued reversing and driving over him; whilst spewing diesel fumes in his face.

The purpose was to separate the bull from the tiger, but the latter was persistent and continued running back to the bull once the truck had passed over its body to finish his meal. Eventually, the tigers were shooed away and the bull sat crumpled, shocked and bleeding, in the middle of the ring.

The show was over..

Action taken:

That same afternoon, the Animals Asia Foundation alerted the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and IFAW Beijing to what we had seen. The CWCA registered their concern, both with the cruelty and the illegal sale of tiger parts and requested us to issue three statements on behalf of the government:
"The CWCA and the Chinese government has always been strongly against animal cruelty - to all species. The Chinese government has always insisted on not using tiger bone or tiger products and it is strictly forbidden to export all tiger products. With the information that we have been given by the Animals Asia Foundation, the CWCA will immediately inform related departments and conduct an investigation."

(Continued Page 7)

Releasing Tigers - Page 1: Releasing Captive-Bred Species | 2 & 3: Issues Specific To The Tiger |
4 to 9: Xiongsheng Bear & Tiger Entertainment City | 10&11: Tiger Moon Sanctuary

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Photography With Thanks To The Animals Asia Foundation
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