The hunter became the hunted in an odd series of events that recently occurred at the Yancheng Zoo in Changzhou, Jiangsu province China. In an attempt to restore a tiger’s natural instincts, a live bull was put in the cage of Tang Bai Hu, a rare white tiger. But, as the best-laid plans of mice and men, things soon backfired quite rapidly.
The one-year-old bull was placed into the white tiger’s enclosure where it was expected that the rare tiger would kill and eat it, as it would do in the wild. The tiger did try to attack, but the bull charged instead, causing the cat to retreat in terror. Visitors were amused by the interplay, but it wasn’t so funny for the tiger that was actually bitten on the back.
It is a moot point as to whether the actions of the zookeepers were sincere, ignorant or cruel. Since the rare white tiger (the only one at the zoo) would never have been released into the wild, one can only wonder why it would have needed its natural killing instincts to be restored.
“Our tigers’ hunting skills are long forgotten. They live a very comfortable life here, with a big house, swimming pool and sports field…A live bull might have been too much for the 15-year-old tiger, which normally eats chopped beef or chicken,” said zoo spokesman, Chang Yihai.
It also seems to have been a spectacle that was savored by visitors to the zoo, which seems perverse, heartless and even mercenary.
In defense of their actions, the zoo claims that the loss of the wild nature of the tiger causes the degeneration of both its immune system and its ability to reproduce.
What do YOU think about this?