Walrus 'Hug' Kills 2 at Wildlife Park

Tourist fell from open walkway: reports
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2016 7:50 AM CDT
Walrus 'Hug' Kills 2 at Wildlife Park
A female walrus is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/dpa,Christian Charisius)

A tourist and trainer have died after a walrus "hug" at a wildlife park in China. A male tourist from northern China was reportedly taking videos of a walrus from a narrow walkway at Xixiajou Wildlife Park in Shandong Province when he accidentally fell in the walrus pool. A trainer jumped in after him but a 3,000-pound walrus wrapped the pair in a "hug" and pulled them underwater, per the Shanghai Daily. Onlookers attempted to use bamboo poles to free the men, but both had drowned by the time they were recovered from the pool. The accident occurred "lately," though a precise date wasn't given.

The New York Post reports a "disturbing" video of the incident has appeared on social media site Weibo. The video, along with photos of the walrus pool, have many questioning whether the site is safe for visitors, who observe the pool from what is essentially an elevated sidewalk that has no railing or other barrier. The park remains open, and employees say the walrus involved is usually docile and may have only been trying to play with its longtime trainer. (In other atypical animal news, this beaver is said to have taken a man hostage.)

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