Leopards' escape prompts security questions

By MA ZHENHUAN in Hangzhou | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-05-10 07:31
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Nationwide concern has been triggered by the escape of three leopards from Hangzhou Safari Park, Zhejiang province. The Wolves Rescue Team and other rescue teams have been searching for the animals since Thursday. LIAN GUOQING/XU YAN/CHINA DAILY

Lessons to be learned

It is not the first time that Hangzhou Safari Park has found itself in the spotlight recently.

Last month, Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court made a final ruling upholding a previous judgment that the park must pay 1,038 yuan ($158) in compensation to a local resident for breach of contract after insisting on the use of facial recognition technology to gain entry following an upgrade to its admission system.

Guo Bing, an associate professor of law at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, filed a lawsuit against the park at Fuyang District People's Court last year over the collection and use of visitors' facial recognition details.

The litigation is believed to be the first in China involving facial recognition technology, which is being used increasingly nationwide.

After the three leopards escaped, netizens throughout the country questioned management loopholes at Hangzhou Safari Park, along with the delayed announcement about the incident, which they said could endanger public security.

Chen Songtao, an attorney with Zhejiang F&G Law Firm, said the incident showed there were serious management faults at the park.

The delayed announcement of the escape also increased the possibility of potential hazards, despite the fact that no one had been killed or injured during the incident, Chen said.

Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday through its Sina Weibo account that in recent years public safety incidents involving safari parks in China have been a frequent occurrence, spreading fear among the public.

Now that the person in charge of the park had been detained, a thorough investigation must be carried out to determine all those who should be held accountable, it said.

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