Peacocks in China zoo die from shock after tourists pluck out their feathers

Visitors at Yunnan Wild Animal Park holding a peacock as they pose for photos. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CCTVNEWS'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Two peacocks in a zoo in the south-western city of Kunming in China have died after being manhandled by tourists over the Chinese New Year period.

Quoting reports from local media, the South China Morning Post said the birds were believed to have died from shock due to the tourists' "violent behaviour".

Photos posted on social media showed visitors to the Yunnan Wild Animal Park picking up the peacocks to pose for the camera. The birds' feathers were also reportedly plucked out.

In its reply to local newspaper WCC Daily, Yunnan Wild Animal Park confirmed the deaths and said one of the peacocks had died on Feb 12.

While the cause of their deaths are still under investigation, zoo officials said they believed the peacocks had died from the shock of being held so forcefully by visitors.

A spokesman for the zoo said such an incident had never happened before, although zoo employees often remind visitors not to touch the peacocks.

According to its website, the 187-hectare zoo houses over 10,000 wild birds and animals, including 200 species such as elephants, lions and pandas.

The latest incident follows reports last week claiming that a dolphin had died at a beach in Argentina, after beach-goers allegedly pulled it out from the water so they could take photos with it.

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