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‘A profound and brutal disregard for life’: Shocking footage shows dead lion lying in a filthy pond at a Chinese zoo

The zoo initially denied the animal had been dead, claiming that it 'was resting in the water', and after an autopsy that the lion had 'died naturally of old age'.

EMILIA JIANG: Viral footage of a dead lion lying in a filthy pond in front of horrified visitors at a Chinese zoo has sparked a public outcry. The incident came to light after a tourist filmed the heart-breaking scene on Thursday at the Handan Foshan Wildlife Zoo in northern China’s Hebei Province… The shocking video was uploaded online yesterday by a zoo visitor who had captured the scene at the wildlife park in the city of Handan. Footage shows the African lion caged in an enclosure with its lifeless body submerged in a filthy pond… The original footage has since been deleted from the account…

The park initially denied the animal had been dead, claiming that it ‘was resting in the water’. They told reporters today that the lion had ‘died naturally of old age’, citing autopsy results… A manager of the zoo’s visitor centre initially denied that the animal had died, claiming that it ‘was just resting’ in the water. ‘We don’t have such an incident here. The lion was just lying there and resting. It wouldn’t die,’ the anonymous staff member told the Handan Television on Thursday.

As the incident continued to attract attention nationwide, another park manager, known by his surname Yang, told reporters that the lion drowned in the pond after being sick for a long time… Speaking to reporters today, the zoo’s vice president, Wu Guangshu, claimed that the African lion had died of old age… Angered netizens have been angered by the zoo’s mixed responses, slamming the wildlife park ‘shameless’ and calling to boycott the facility…

The incident has also drawn criticism from international animal groups. Born Free Foundation, a UK-based wildlife charity, described the footage as ‘a profound and brutal disregard for life’ while urging the Chinese authorities to step in. Will Travers OBE, executive president of the organisation, told MailOnline: ‘It tells you so much about the lack of compassion and the lack of professional care that so many captive facilities, not just those in China, display – a profound and brutal disregard for life.

Similar events in relation to mistreatment towards zoo animals have recently been exposed by web users in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. A heart-wrenching video showing a captive tiger appearing to be depressed as it walked in circles non-stop inside a tiny enclosure at a Beijing zoo was revealed in April. Another appalling video shows Chinese visitors using fishing poles to feed captive tigers in a so-called ‘interactive programme’ offered by a wildlife zoo in south-eastern China’s Yunnan province. SOURCE…

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