The Beijing Wildlife Park had an alarming incident occur last weekend when a man entered a zoo enclosure that houses 11 white tigers.
The 56-year-old-man, identified only by the last name of Jiang, was not injured in the incident but is currently under investigation for “seriously damaging public order,” Beijing police announced on Chinese social media site Weibo.
Despite warnings from the park’s controlling staff, the man “suddenly left his car and sprinted towards the enclosure, standing in the ditch that separates the tigers from the general public,” the park explained.
At one point, Jiang was seen standing about 40 inches away from seven adult tigers, facing them, before proceeding to yell at and provoke the animals.
Frustrated staff at the zoo asked Jiang to remain still while they threw food at the big cats in hopes of distracting them so they wouldn’t lunge and attack the man.
The animals were later lured into cages where thankfully no harm was caused to either Jiang or to park staff.
Jiang’s motivations for such reckless behavior remain unclear.
This isn’t the first time visitors have tried to illegally enter wildlife enclosures at public zoos. Not all have ended well for the intruders.
One incident occurred in 2017 when a man was mauled to death after climbing a fence into a tiger enclosure to avoid buying a ticket at a zoo in eastern China.
Unfortunate accidents have also occurred in other countries; with perhaps the most notable example in the U.S. being the shooting and killing of western lowland gorilla Harambe at the Cincinnati zoo after a 3-year-old boy fell into its enclosure in 2016.
The incident sparked public outrage with activists demanding “Justice for Harambe” and asking for enhanced security protocol at zoos.
Many were angered that the beloved gorilla was put down and some even said the boy’s mother should face child endangerment charges.A petition on Change.org asked Congress to pass new legislation in order to protect critically endangered animals like Harambe and for there to be legal consequences when an animal is harmed or killed due to the negligence of visitors. The petition garnered over 200k signatures.