Local govt funds zoo after Siberian tiger death

Updated: 2010-03-14 19:37
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SHENYANG - The Shenyang Municipal Government in northeast China has allocated 7 million yuan(US$1.03 million) to assist a local zoo in protecting animals after 11 Siberian tigers were reported to have died of malnutrition there due to lack of funds.

Zhang Jinghui, secretary-general of the Shenyang Municipal Government, said on Sunday that 5 million yuan would be spent on the protection of animals in the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo in the capital of Liaoning Province.

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The rest of the fund would be used to facilitate its management and operation, he said.

The municipal government had established three work teams to save and treat the animals, probe the reason behind the massive tiger death and take over part of the zoo management, according to the official.

Local animal protection officials said Thursday a total of 11 Siberian tigers, an engendered species with its worldwide population stand between 350 to 450, died of malnutrition in the zoo over the past 3 months.

The zoo, which is mainly privately owned with the Shenyang Municipal Government having 15 percent of the share, only fed the tigers on cheap chicken bones as the zoo was financially challenged.

Since November, Shenyang Qipanshan Administration Committee has been providing the zoo with appropriate feed worth of 18,000 yuan (US$2,636) a day and the feed worth amounted to 2.15 million yuan in total. But many tigers already had intestinal infections or kidney failure caused by the lack of food and died later.