11 Tigers Starve to Death in China Zoo

Cash-strapped owner fed them occasional chicken
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2010 2:58 AM CST
A Siberian tiger runs away with a chicken tossed by tourists at the Harbin Tiger Park in Harbin in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
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(Newser) – At least 11 Siberian tigers have starved to death in a Chinese zoo run by an owner strapped for cash. The tigers require 20 pounds of meat a day, but zoo operators only provided the big cats with a chicken carcass every couple of days. Two of the tigers, apparently driven by hunger, attacked a zoo keeper late last year and were shot to death. Earlier, 4 tigers ate a cage mate, and 6 tigers died in a single day.

The Chinese government has stepped in to support the privately owned Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo in Shenyang, which still has some 20 tigers. Wildlife experts esitmate only some 450 Siberian tigers still exist in the wild, reports the Telegraph.

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