Coverup of Escaped Leopards From China Zoo Is a Typical CCP Tactic

May 31, 2021 Updated: May 31, 2021

Commentary

A strange incident recently occurred in China. Three leopards in Hangzhou fled the zoo and wandered around the city for more than 20 days. One of them is still at large.

On April 19, due to negligence in management at the Hangzhou Zoo, three young leopards escaped. The zoo failed to inform local authorities and residents that the three leopards were missing.

But on May 7 and 8, Hangzhou residents reported that they had found a leopard in a nearby forest. Everyone now has a mobile phone, so upon finding leopards running amuck in the city, residents rushed to post videos online.

Hangzhou is a first-tier city in China. It is unimaginable to find wild leopards in a large city with a population of several million. Can you imagine New York City residents discovering leopards in Manhattan? Therefore, everyone immediately suspected the local zoo.

The zoo, Wildlife World, quickly issued a statement stating that no leopards escaped, causing more confusion about the origins of the leopards. However, after a few days, Wildlife World finally admitted that there were a total of three young leopards that escaped three weeks before their official reveal on April 19.

The vice mayor of Hangzhou City went on to report that the police discovered the leopards had escaped on April 19, several weeks before the first sighting by local residents. The park admitted to police that it did not initially report the incident because of concerns that the news would affect visits to the zoo during China’s public holidays in the first week of May.

The authorities subsequently mobilized to capture the leopards. Soon, one leopard was captured, and the other was reportedly “bitten to death” by hunting dogs.

A video surfaced of four big dogs encircling the leopard and biting it. The search and rescue personnel can be heard in the video saying “keep biting it to death.” The video stirred up much controversy regarding animal cruelty and caused a lot of dissatisfaction among Chinese citizens.

Afterward, the state-run media came out reporting that the leopard was not killed and that the fallen leopard was only hit by a narcotic bullet. The third leopard is yet to be found.

When the zoo finally publicly admitted that leopards had escaped, they also exposed that they initially denied the escape for fear of causing public panic.

To readers who live in a free world, this may come across as absurd. However, under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) system in China, it is expected. The CCP has always behaved in this way.

Another Coverup

Another recent example of this is the way the local and national officers of the CCP regime handled the initial COVID-19 outbreak within China.

Chinese authorities knew of a deadly novel virus that transmits via human contact as of December 2019 at the latest. Yet the virus was covered up by CCP government officials, instead of them openly revealing it to the public. Dr. Li Wenliang, who ultimately died from COVID-19, was among many doctors threatened with prison for warning others about the virus. Many independent Chinese journalists were imprisoned for reporting the truth about how bad the early spread was in China.

Epoch Times Photo
A memorial for Dr. Li Wenliang is displayed outside the UCLA campus in Westwood, Calif., on Feb. 15, 2020. (Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)

The concealment continued until the end of January 2020. Their delay in addressing the virus hugely contributed to an irreversible global catastrophe. The CCP’s cited reason for concealing COVID-19 for so long and not communicating the threat to the rest of the world was also due to worries about public panic.

This type of dangerous concealment happens in the CCP system because it operates as an authoritarian institution. The CCP regime systematically controls the internet, media, judicial courts, and appointment of its own officials.

Dictatorship means monopolization of all laws including laws that punish lying. In the CCP system, liars can go unpunished and even protected if their lies serve the CCP’s interests to maintain a reputation and power.

None of these authoritarian measures can be achieved in a democratic society. In a democratic society, liars that create widespread adverse effects on society will likely face negative consequences. For the CCP, there is a big price to pay for lies and coverups, but it is not the liar who pays the price, nor the CCP.

Ordinary people pay the price. Whether you believe in these lies or not, as long as you are an ordinary person and not powerful nor rich, you have to pay the price for the blunders of the CCP regime.

China is one of the most closely monitored countries in the world due to AI facial recognition-enhanced surveillance cameras. Especially in the developed eastern regions, there is extensive monitoring technology active at all times. Even rural areas are no exception. A BBC reporter once tried evading the CCP’s security systems. He was found by the authorities within 7 minutes.

Hangzhou is one of the most economically developed areas in China, with a very high population density. How could a 2-year-old leopard remain missing in this city for 30 days?

Yet, local officials and the zoo still maintain that the third leopard is yet to be found. I suspect this is still a lie to prevent outrage from the public or animal rights organizations for killing the young leopard. Under CCP rule, lying and coverups are tried and true tactics.

Alexander Liao is a columnist and journalist in research on international affairs in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia. He has published a large number of reports, commentaries, and video programs in newspapers and Chinese financial magazines in the United States and Hong Kong. 

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.