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Tourists exposed again in safari park

By Yang Wanli | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-26 07:04
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Lions at the Badaling Wildlife Park.[Photo by Zhang Wei/Asianewsphoto]

Security at a Beijing safari park is in the spotlight again after two groups of tourists opened their car windows to feed dangerous animals over the weekend.

A video widely circulated online since Saturday shows a black sport utility vehicle stopping in the bear enclosure at Badaling Wildlife Park. The driver-side window opens, and a sun bear tries to squeeze its head into the car. Then cookie-like objects are thrown from the window. After a couple of seconds, the car accelerates and leaves. No injuries were reported.

The video was recorded by a tourist surnamed Wang, who was in a car behind the SUV. It was shot at about 10 am on July 10, Wang said, adding that no park officials were around at the time.

Since there was no injury report, and no complaint has been received by the park, the case is still being confirmed, said Liu Weishi, director of the park's management office.

"Our control and monitoring system is still under adjustment, and not every corner in the park is under surveillance. The number of patrol cars is also limited and cannot cover every corner," he said.

After the video was posted, a picture also began to circulate online of two children leaning out of the sunroof of a white car over the weekend. The incident took place in an area where visitors have been warned not to open their windows.

The potentially dangerous activity was stopped by the park's patrol team.

In July last year, two women got out of their car in the park's tiger zone, ignoring the rule that tourists should stay in their vehicles, as well as warnings from patrol cars. The incident left a woman dead and another severely injured after a Siberian tiger attacked and dragged one of the women away.

Despite such horrific incidents, some tourists still don't follow safety instructions and risk their lives during tours of the park.

In March, five members of a family got out of their vehicle for more than two minutes in the Tiger Zone, despite park officials' warnings. No injuries resulted.

"Some people may blame the wildlife park for loopholes in management. But getting out of a car in a park where you know there are tigers - and warning signs are posted - is rather foolish, to say the least," an internet user named Yue Yuan said on social media.

According to director Liu, the park allows visitors to drive through if they sign an agreement to obey the speed limit, lock all windows and doors and not feed the animals. The admission price includes insurance, but only for damage to cars caused by the animals.

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