Visitors shocked as malnourished white tiger is seen eating mud inside Chinese zoo
Wang, a visitor who filmed the shocking incident, added that there was no food on the ground but the tiger kept licking the mud in its enclosure at the Wuhan Zoo in central China
A visitor at a zoo in China has accused the management of underfeeding a white Bengal tiger after it was caught on camera eating mud in its enclosure. The visitor, who identified himself as Wang, said that he was shocked to see a thin white tiger, which is an endangered species, when he recently went on a trip to the Wuhan Zoo in central China.
Wang added that there had not been any food on the ground but the tiger kept licking the mud. The animal looked so hungry that it could be seen chewing the mud at one point.
The zoo has denied all the accusations and has said that the animal is healthy. Wang was so shocked by what he was witnessing that he took a video and uploaded it onto Weibo, a popular social media platform in China. The Weibo post from January 8 said: "[The tiger] is so skinny it looks like a piece of firewood and so hungry it has to eat mud."
The post has since forced the authorities in Wuhan to pay attention to the matter. Wang spoke to Pear Video and said that he did not see any food on the ground in the tiger's enclosure when he visited. He also slammed the dismal treatment of the magnificent creature by the zoo's staff.
In response to Wang's claims, the zoo has claimed that the tiger was eating food crumbs off the ground and not mud. According to a comment by the zoo's official Weibo account, the tiger had just been fed a whole chicken. The zoo also added that the tiger is seven years old and weighs around 120kgs (264lbs) which they insist is a healthy weight and added that the animal has a good appetite.
According to the WWF, the average weight of an adult Bengal tiger is 550lbs. A spokesperson for the zoo told the Beijing Youth Daily that the zoo had more than enough food supply for the animal but that the tiger "can't eat too well". The spokesperson said: "Because it doesn't move around a lot, if it eats too much, it will become too fat. If a person becomes fat, he or she will fall ill. It's the same for animals."
White Bengal tigers are extremely rare in the wild and Bengal tigers, in general, are listed as "endangered" by the WWF. The animals get their white color because of a genetic anomaly. Their unique color makes them very popular with zoos and circuses.