Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Zoo responsible for man's death

Updated: 2013-12-24 09:05
( China Daily)

The caretaker of the tigers' enclave in Shanghai zoo was attacked and killed by a tiger last week. But the zoo authorities, rather than the tiger, should be blamed for the tragedy. Also, the attack should be a wake-up call for the zoo authorities to strengthen security measures to avoid such tragedies, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

The death of the caretaker is all the more tragic because he had helped raise the South China tiger that attacked him. The 57-year-old caretaker had more than two decades of experience as an animal keeper, but he forgot to close the door of the tiger's cage after entering it to keep the big cat away, leading to the tragedy.

Some people demand that the tiger be put to death for what it has done. But no law says that an animal can be held legally responsible for attacking a human being. Organizations and people who raise animals should be held responsible if they attack human beings.

Moreover, South China tigers are a protected species; they have been listed as one of the top 10 endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 1996 and are also on China's first class protected animals' list.

So the zoo authorities should be held responsible for the tragedy because this is not the first time that an animal has killed a person in the Shanghai zoo. In 2010, a Bengal tiger "escaped" from its cage and caused a similar tragedy. Such tragedies occur because of lax management.

As wild and aggressive animals, tigers are dangerous and should be kept under strict surveillance. Punishing animals won't change their wild nature, nor will it stop them from attacking other human beings in the future. It's the responsibility of the zoo authorities to tighten security measures and ensure that such tragedies are avoided.