ZHEJIANG - The family of a man savaged to death by a tiger at a zoo in eastern China last Sunday (Jan 29) has claimed that the zoo did not have sufficient safety measures in place and was negligent.
The South China Morning Post, quoting the management of the Ningbo Youngor Zoo, said the 40-year-old victim, surnamed Zhang, had scaled two 3m walls and a wire fence in order to avoid paying the 130 yuan (S$27) entrance fee.
He unwittingly entered the tigers' enclosure after scaling the second wall, having reportedly ignored warning signs placed along the wire fence.
Security footage showed Zhang being approached by three tigers in the enclosure, which was separated from visitors by a moat and stone wall.
The Hubei native was seen attempting to resist a tiger that had its jaws around his head. The animal was later shot dead after attempts to scare it off with firecrackers failed.
Zhang was rushed to hospital but later died from his injuries.
His wife and two children, who had accompanied him on the zoo visit, were said to have paid the entrance fees.
Zhang's relative, a man surnamed Yang, blamed the zoo for Zhang's apparent misadventure.
"Even if he climbed in from behind the walls, that has to be a case of mismanagement by the zoo. As long as the walls can be climbed easily, there will be people who will try to avoid paying the entrance fee."
"The zoo bears a certain level of responsibility," he added.