Animal Selfies Banned in Shanghai Wildlife Park
The Shanghai Wildlife Park has stopped the picture-taking with tiger cubs after a video of a zookeeper allegedly abusing the cub went viral.
The video that angered netizens shows the male animal keeper placing the cub on the lap of the boy who pushed the animal, causing the cub to fall to the ground. After the incident, the staffer went on forcing the cub to open its eyes even hitting its head to pose with other incoming visitors for photos.
The photo-taking program has been a regular feature of the Shanghai zoo where tourists can pay for 30 yuan or $4.30 to have selfies with cubs of tigers, bears, and lions.
The video has taken too much heat online but the park denied any abuse to the baby tiger and the rest of the animals. It is still under investigation by the Shanghai Forestry Bureau.
In a report by Shanghai Daily, a park employee surnamed Ni confirms that "such interactive programs are a popular practice in overseas wildlife parks as well because visitors want to get close to animals."
Last 2013, a performance for Jinan Animal Carnival Festival's which suggested acrobatic shows including animals was canceled when it was tipped off to the authorities. Citizens asked to boycott the said circus since it was prohibited under the Chinese law.
In 2011, the Chinese government has issued a total ban prohibiting live animal shows and circuses across 300 state-owned zoos which are part of the China Zoo Association. The circus act ban which was passed by the China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development passed in September 2010 earned PETA Asia's Advancement in Animal Welfare Award. The ban has closed two zoos which had circus acts.
Other than live animal shows, the ban also covers the elimination of shops and restaurants that sell animal parts or animal dishes.