|A report by the Bình Dương Provincial Forest Protection Department said the cage holding the tiger was very poorly built. — Photo tuoitre.vn|
HCM CITY — A former employee at a wildlife park who was attacked by a tiger was drunk and teasing the animal, officials have claimed.
Võ Thành Quới was passing by the tiger’s enclosure and got too close.
The animal ripped off his hand and as he tried to fight it off, the tiger took hold of him again and tore his other arm off at the shoulder.
The attack happened at Thanh Cảnh private zoo in southern Bình Dương Province.
But now an investigation carried out by the Bình Dương Provincial Forest Protection Department says Quới not only under the influence of alcohol when he was attacked, but was also taunting the tiger.
The report also revealed the cage holding the animal was very poorly built. The owner of the facility is required to carry out urgent repairs.
The authority also said in the future, ‘methodical and thorough’ checks will be carried out at the wildlife centre.
Phạm Văn Bông - Director of Bình Dương Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said: “The unfortunate incident happened when the facility was repairing the barn. Besides, the victim used alcohol and subjectively teased tigers before being bitten.
“In the near future, the department and functional units will strictly inspect the captive conditions in the pilot tiger breeding facilities.
“On the basis of the incident, the department also asked the owner to conduct reinforcement and repair of the tiger cages. If the facility is not secure enough, the owner must bring the tiger to the best conditions for wildlife conservation.”
Three years ago a vet was killed during a similar attack in the same province.
The owner of the zoo, Huỳnh Văn Hai and two other people, were fined VNĐ1.4 billion (US$60,000).
Speaking from his hospital bed in HCM City, 49-year-old Quới said it was lucky someone came to his rescue.
“I used to work there as a mason,” he told Tuổi trẻ news.
“That day I passed by the cage to have a look at the tiger. When I wasn’t alert, the tiger pulled me over and started biting while my arm was nearby.
“I used another arm to escape but unfortunately it bit both of my arms. At the end, someone came to rescue.”
The doctor who treated Quới said although he is now in a stable condition but needs further surgery.
“He was in a very serious condition when he came to hospital with shock symptoms, a missing arm and serious chest injury.
“His situation is currently stable, but we need to do more surgeries to disinfect the wounds.”
A report recently revealed that in the past century, 97 per cent of all tigers in the world have been wiped out.
Of the few that remain, the majority are held in captivity. — VNS