Tiger Kills Chinese Man

A mentally ill Chinese man was attacked by a tiger after the man entered the animal's zoo enclosure.

Posted: April 7 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Tiger Kills Chinese Man
A mentally ill man was killed by a tiger after he wandered into the cat's enclosure at Beifang Forest Zoo.
Zhang Yachun, a 37-year-old mentally ill man living in Pingshan Township, Heilongjiang Province, China, was eaten by a tiger at Beifang Forest Zoo in Harbin, Reuters reports.

Zhang left his home in Harbin on March 24. Zoo cleaning staff found human remains in the tiger and lion enclosure around 8:40 a.m. on March 25. A report by the China news service said, “only two legs and his skull were left.”

A search of the lion and tiger exhibit revealed no damage to the fence. Zoo officials are uncertain how Zhang accessed the enclosure.

On March 29, police informed Zhang’s parents that he had entered the tiger’s cage at the zoo, about 30 km from their home, and had been eaten. The man’s parents said their son had left for work about 7 a.m. on March 24. Zhang suffered from mental illness, they said, and “especially loved tigers.”

This is the most recent incident of injury or death caused by zoo or circus animals in China. In February, a 10-year-old boy lost his arm to a circus lion that grabbed the boy through the bars of its cage. Last year, a 6-year-old girl was killed when a zoo tiger attacked her while she waited to have her picture taken with the animal.

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Reader Comments

Janice    silverspring, MD

8/19/2008 12:04:15 PM

This is just truly sad, and yet points out another reason why wild cats shouldn't be caged up. The staff shoud find out immediately how the poor man got in the enclosure and fix it so these occurances never happen again

Ellen    Attleboro, MA

4/8/2008 12:46:53 AM

sad, but what can you do...wasn't the tigers fault~

Sheryl    Casa Grande, AZ

4/8/2008 12:14:06 AM

Very sad. I hope the zoo tries to make the enclosure less accessible in the future.

Karen    Standish, ME

4/7/2008 9:44:00 PM

This is sad that there was no back up safety to prevent this tragic event!

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