Woman Killed by Tiger at Beijing Wildlife Park Is Latest in Series of Deadly Incidents

July 25, 2016 Updated: July 25, 2016

Two women were attacked by Siberian tigers at a Beijing wildlife park on July 23, as reported by Chinese state-run media.

Surveillance footage at the Badaling Wildlife World shows the first woman stepping out of her car, then being seized and dragged away by a tiger after just 15 seconds. Beijing’s Legal Evening News reported that the woman had been arguing with her husband before leaving the vehicle.

The woman suffered severe injuries; her mother was mauled to death by a second tiger while protecting her daughter. The woman’s husband, who also came to help, was unharmed, Beijing News reported.

(CCTV/YouTube screenshot)
(CCTV/YouTube screenshot)
(CCTV/YouTube screenshot)
(CCTV/YouTube screenshot)
(CCTV/YouTube screenshot)
(CCTV/YouTube screenshot)

Badaling Wildlife World, located near a popular section of the Great Wall in northwestern Beijing, is known for several deadly incidents involving large animals—despite warning signs. This March, an elephant killed a park worker, and in 2014 a security guard encountered a tiger after he left his patrol vehicle and was killed.

A tiger at Badaling also killed an 18-year-old man who had broken into the park with two friends. They had been hiking along the Great Wall and wanted to take a shortcut, Xinhua, the state-run news agency, reported.

Park staff later rescued the family, and the woman was hospitalized. Without mentioning the incident, Badaling temporarily shut down, ostensibly due to heavy rains. But local authorities in Yanqing District, where the park is located, confirmed the day of the incident that the attack had taken place.

Badaling covers 6,000 acres. Entry is about $7 and visitors are allowed to either drive through the park on their own or join tour groups.

Feeding live animals to the attractions is common at Chinese zoos. At one Badaling attraction, visitors can see goats and cows being eviscerated by lions. Another, more hands-on experience allows zoogoers to “fish” the beasts by hanging live chickens as bait for them. Visitors, including children, can watch the birds as they get torn to pieces, The Daily Mail reported in 2008.

Such practices can be found in zoos around the country. In Qingdao, eastern China, one zoo has an event where visitors flick coins at tortoises and try to aim for the head, supposedly to bring good fortune. In a zoo at Guilin, to the southeast, spectators can watch as tigers stalk and kill young cows provided for that purpose. The zoo also sells bear and tiger meat onsite.

Across northeast China, only a handful of Siberian tigers still live in the wild along the Russian and North Korean borders. Thousands are bred in parks like Badaling, where they serve as attractions or as ingredients for expensive Chinese medical recipes.