Croc bloodied and battered by Chinese family at Fujian zoo

China | 6 Nov 2018 7:34 pm

A crocodile nicknamed "Xiaohe,'' at a zoo in Xiamen city in southeast Fujian province is recovering from injuries inflicted by a group of Chinese visitors who threw rocks at it last week, the Fujian-based Strait Herald reported yesterday.

The 37-year-old creature, known as Asia's largest crocodile in captivity for its 5.8-meter length, had been pelted with a rock measuring 17 centimeters. It caused head wound on October 31, CGTN reports.

A photo circulating on social media caused an online backlash against the visitors' cruel behavior.

The incident happened when a family tour group visited the zoo, a manager surnamed Xu told the media. According to some eye-witness accounts, Xu said the family of adults and children threw the rock to see whether the crocodile was a model, or not, because it was motionless.

"All the while, other tourists at the scene tried to talk them out of pelting the reptile, but they would not listen,” Xu added. The family was seen laughing and taking photos of the animal when it finally moved but fled when they saw blood.

The zoo has given local police the surveillance video.

"The adults' actions set a bad example for the children,” some users commented on Weibo. Others urged that the violators be placed on the zoo's blacklist and be asked to pay the treatment costs.

Chinese tourists being cruel to zoo animals have been common this year.

In April, also in Fujian province, a kangaroo died at a Fuzhou Zoo after visitors hurled jagged stones at it. And another was injured in a separate incident days later.

In the same month, tourists in eastern Jiangsu province plucked tail feathers out of four live peacocks, in the second incident of its kind at the zoo.

Months later, men were caught throwing stones at tigers inside Beijing Wildlife Park in June and, in September, a video was released showing a visitor in eastern Anhui province poking and kicking an alligator to try and get it to move for a better photo.

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