Friday, September 11, 2009

Tiger kills zoo worker in southern Vietnam

Tiger kills zoo worker in southern Vietnam

Doctors treat Nguyen Thanh Giau's injuries at Binh Duong General Hospital.
A zoo worker in Binh Duong Province was killed on Thursday by a tiger that leapt from its enclosure into an unoccupied den where three men were planting trees.

According to other employees of Dai Nam Zoo, the tiger jumped over the two-and-half-meter concrete wall surrounding its enclosure.

Nguyen Cong Danh, 47, died on the spot while Nguyen Thanh Giau, 21, had to be rushed to hospital with severe injuries to the head and neck. The other man escaped by diving into a moat.

The Indochina tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), which weighed more than 150 kilograms, was then forced back into its den.

Duong Thanh Phi, director of Dai Nam Zoo, which is also a resort, told Thanh Nien the tiger was coming into rut, which might have given it the extra strength to leap so high.

There’s also suspicion that the tiger was frightened by the cranes lifting the trees into position.

It was the first such incident in the zoo’s history and was beyond anyone’s control, Phi said.

He told the newswire Vnexpress Thursday it was impossible for the tigers to escape into the public area because of the electric fence and the four-meter deep by eight-meter wide moat.

The zoo’s managers visited Giau at Binh Duong General Hospital on Thursday but made no comment.

The Binh Duong Bureau of Forest Management said it was investigating the incident as well as animal management generally at the zoo.

An inspection of Dai Nam Zoo Co. Ltd. in July revealed there were 13 tigers at the zoo, nearly double the seven it was registered for.

In total, the company was keeping 583 wild animals of 71 species but its license, which had expired by then, only permitted 294 animals of 27 species.

Inspectors conceded that the enclosures were properly designed and that there were qualified veterinarians on the premises to take care of the animals, but also found that the zoo did not record its breeding and raising methods to ensure the animals maintained normal reproduction under captive conditions.

Reported by Hoang Tuan

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