On July 23, a mother and daughter were attacked by tigers at a drive-through animal park in China, leaving the mother dead and the daughter seriously injured (video below).
It occurred at the Badaling Wildlife Park, near Beijing, reports The New York Times. The mother and daughter, along with the daughter’s husband and child, were in a car traveling through the park, when suddenly the daughter got out of the car, in violation of the park’s rules.
As she approached the driver’s side door, she was attacked by a tiger and dragged away. When the mother got out to help the daughter, she was killed by another tiger, said a statement by the Yanqing County government.
According to the Beijing-based Legal Evening News, the daughter left the car because of an argument with her husband -- a claim disputed by another family member, reports the Beijing News.
The husband, who got out of the car in an attempt to save his wife and mother-in-law, was unharmed. The child remained safely in the vehicle.
It’s not the first time that tragedy has struck at the park, reports state-run news agency Xinhua. An employee was killed by an elephant in March, a tiger killed a security guard in 2014, and a hiker taking a shortcut through the park was killed by a tiger in 2009.
Wild tigers are almost extinct in China, with a country-wide population of less than 30. However, thousands of tigers are raised in captivity, in parks such as the one at Badaling.
Animal rights activists allege that some parks are fronts for illegal trade in animal parts.
Tiger populations once exceeded 100,000 in Asia, notes the website One Green Planet. Today, they are killed for their skin, bones and teeth, with China historically being the most common hunting ground.
In China, an estimated 6,000 tigers are bred like cattle and cooped up like chickens.