Performing Tiger Escapes Circus Cage As Crowd Panic

Story ByJohn FengSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyAsia Wire Report

Video Credit: AsiaWire

This footage – seen over 20 million times – shows a circus tiger climbs a high cage and it reportedly escapes, leaving the crowd screaming and running from their seats.

Two organisers have since been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation after the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) was successfully recaptured but died while being transported to a local zoo.

Pictures Credit:AsiaWire

The incident happened during a show in the county of Yuanyang, which is in Xinxiang City in Central China’s Henan Province, on 6th September, with members of a local school said to be in attendance.

Video of the evening’s performance shows a handler directing the tiger to the side of the cage when the big cat suddenly leaps and begins climbing upwards.

Video Credit: AsiaWire

Audience members then immediately jump from their seats and begin screaming “run!” as the cat appears to escape.

County authorities are said to have searched throughout the night for the cat, while also urging members of the public to remain indoors.

Pictures Credit:AsiaWire

The tiger was found in a cornfield the following day and successfully tranquillised 12 hours after its escape.

Video of the operation shows the seemingly unconscious animal being hauled out of the field behind a tractor.

Video Credit: AsiaWire

The authorities said the young cat, a second tiger and a lion, were seized from the circus and transferred to Xinxiang Zoo for safekeeping.

However, the zoo claimed the tranquillised tiger was found dead on arrival.

Pictures Credit:AsiaWire

A zookeeper surnamed Feng told Chinese media: “It wasn’t even breathing, so we didn’t attempt any sort of treatment.

“We’ve kept the carcass in a freezer and are waiting for a vet to perform an examination.”

Feng revealed the tiger had been hit by a car during its escape, and may have suffered internal injuries as a result, but county officials said further investigations are now pending an official necropsy.

It was not clear when the procedure was scheduled for.

Investigators said the travelling circus from East China’s Anhui Province had been granted a licence to perform in the county on 1st September, but added that the organisers did not register their 6th September show – their first public event – with the relevant authorities.

Of the two organisers now detained for questioning, one has been named by Chinese media as 23-year-old Zhang Haitao.

Zhang’s wife, Wu Xiangyan, revealed that her husband loaned the two Siberian tigers, one lion, one monkey and one goat from another circus.

Zhang’s contract states that any accidental death to a tiger would incur a 100,000-RMB (11,450-GBP) penalty, Wu said.

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John Feng

I am a senior journalist and editor, and have worked for a number of different news agencies over the last decade. I am currently editor-in-chief of the Asia Wire Report news wire.

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