Who’s responsible for zoo tragedy?

Who’s responsible for zoo tragedy?


A man was mauled and killed by a tiger at this zoo.
Photo: AFP

On January 29, a man climbed over the wall of  Youngor Zoo in the city of Ningbo, in Zhejiang province, because he didn’t want to buy a ticket. The man was attacked and killed by a tiger. Zoo officials then shot and killed the animal.

Some people think it was the man’s fault, while others feel the zoo should take full responsibility for the tragedy.

In my opinion, both are to blame. If the zoo had better security to protect visitors, such terrible incidents wouldn’t happen. And if the man had simply bought a ticket, he would not have been attacked by the tiger.

The tiger is innocent. It was simply protecting itself from an intruder – this is the way animals behave. If a stranger broke into your home, what would you do? 

The tiger was simply defending its territory and did not deserve to be killed. The tiger wouldn’t have done anything wrong if the man hadn’t climbed over the wall.

Other visitors are also partly responsible. As the man was being attacked, most witnesses just took photos and videos instead of calling for help. It shows how heartless human nature is.

Christy Lam Ki-wing, King Ling College

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From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Christy. This was a sad story to see and I don’t think many people would think the tiger deserved to be shot. You post an interesting question, who is at fault. This is very much a cultural issue. I would bet that if you asked any of your classmates: Hey, would you climb into a tiger’s cage? Not many of them would say yes. Yet this is what the man did.

We don’t know from the reports whether or not he knew he was climbing into a tiger enclosure, or what he was thinking. Surely all the onus is on him. He had free will, and he chose to climb into the area. However, if we found out that he was, perhaps, mentally ill and unable to understand what he was doing, then it would become the zoo’s fault because the zoo should have taken steps to prevent people from coming in to contact with the animals.

It’s quite common in these kinds of shocking stories, to see people comment about why bystanders “did nothing” or “just took videos” so I’d like at answer that. In most of the news stories I see, bystanders do nothing. We all like to think that if only we had been there, we would have... but in fact we most likely wouldn’t have. People who are witnessing something like this, or Friday’s MTR fire attack, are firstly in shock. That usually is enough to paralyse them. This is good in the way that it means they won’t want to put themselves in danger. People are not as heartless as these stories would seem to show. They are just being people.

Susan, Editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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