China zoo tigers turn on each other in hunger

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BEIJING, Nov 19 (Reuters) Tigers in a north China zoo that was too poor to properly feed them turned on each other, killing and eating one, zoo authorities said today.

''There is no money. Of course (the incident) was caused by a lack of food,'' a woman in the director's office at the Shenyang Bingchuan Wildlife Park told Reuters.

The same zoo was shut down briefly last year due to a shortage of funds and lack of visitors, earlier media reports said.

''We only receive 1,000 yuan (135 dollars) per month in government subsidies and the park is only able to generate another 1,000 yuan each month from the sale of tickets, which is the main source of income,'' the official said.

In the incident, which happened yesterday, four tigers got into a fight, killing one and devouring its innards.

Last year, a zoo in the northwestern region of Xinjiang that was home to an endangered Siberian tiger faced with a similar financial crisis when the zoo's ticket revenues fell short of operating costs, Xinhua news agency reported.

The animals there were also forced to go without food, the report said.

REUTERS SYU KP1734

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