A Chinese zoo into action to cut the claws of their Arctic foxes after being accused of allowing them to grow so long the poor animals could no longer walk properly.
The scandal happened after pictures went viral of the Arctic foxes at Changsha Ecological Zoo in China’s Hunan province showing incredibly long claws, making it difficult for them to walk.
It was shared by Xiumu Ayi, a female user of the Chinese Internet platform Weibo, who wrote: “The foxes were not able to walk normally. I could tell it was really painful for them.”
She said she had complained to the local council, but it is believed the widespread sharing of images is what prompted the zoo to act, although they denied animal cruelty.
The vets later issued a statement saying that the Arctic foxes were in very good health, although admitted they could probably have acted sooner on trimming their claws.
In a quote to local media an unnamed official said: “We take good care of our animals. But it is possible that there are some aspects in which we could do better.”
They added: “Thank you for your reminder.”
Experts said that in the case of Arctic foxes their claws need to be cut in captivity every six months, as they do not move around enough for them to be worn down naturally.