Man Killed Taking Selfie With Walrus

| by Nicholas Roberts
Walrus SelfieWalrus Selfie

A businessman in China reportedly died after taking a picture with a walrus at a zoo.

The man, identified by the Shanghaiist only by his last name, Jia, went to Yeshanko Wildlife Zoo in Weihai.  He took various pictures and videos of animals at the zoo and posted them on social media for friends to see.

The final video Jia took was with a 1-ton walrus.  He took a selfie with the walrus and recorded a video in which he says, "Look at this walrus, so strong, so big!"

After taking the video, the problems began. The walrus used its jaws to grab Jia's back and drag him into the pool in its enclosure. Jia drowned, according to Asia One.

The tragedy was compounded when a zookeeper jumped into the pool in an attempt to save Jia, only to be drowned by the walrus himself.  Some have speculated the walrus was being playful and was trying to hug the two men.  The zookeeper had reportedly been looking after the walrus for more than 10 years.

A video of the walrus's enclosure was posted online following the incident, and it appears to show only a flimsy barrier between the walkway for visitors and the animal's pool.  

Jia's brother criticized the zoo's lack of safety precautions.  He told a local newspaper: "My brother didn't fall into that pool, he was dragged by the beast. Large wild animals aren't predictable, even if they are normally calm."

The zoo accepted responsibility for the incident and has since paid Jia's family $137,000.

Sources: Asia One, Shanghaiist / Photo credit: Weibo via Asia One

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