The cardinal rule of visiting an outdoor, drive-through animal park is that you never, ever leave your vehicle except in the direst of emergencies. Generally, a lover’s spat does not fall under that category. Officials at a wildlife park in Beijing, China, say two women were mauled by a tiger after leaving their vehicle over the weekend. The attack occurred when the visitors to Badaling Wildlife World, a married couple and an older woman, entered the Siberian tiger enclosure. According to The Legal Evening News, the couple had a loud argument in the car, prompting the woman to leave. As she walked around to the other side of the vehicle, she was attacked by a tiger and dragged off, while her husband and mother ran after her in an attempt at a rescue. The tiger eventually shifted its attention toward the woman’s 57-year-old mother, mauling and killing her.
Tragic as it is, cases like this are not unheard of in drive-through animal parks. In 2014, a family driving through Longleat Safari Park in England nearly became dinner for a pride of lions after their car caught on fire. Luckily in that case, park rangers were able to intervene quickly and rescue the family before the lions got too close.
In a video of the incident in Beijing, you can see what appears to be a park vehicle pull up just seconds after the attack, but unfortunately rangers were not able to prevent a fatal mauling. Tigers have a notorious reputation as one of the deadliest predators in Asia, and rely on killing their prey quickly and effectively. It is not surprising that in light of this recent fatal mauling that many activists are calling for more security measures in drive-through parks, especially ones that house large predators. According to The New York Times, these types of attacks are far from unknown in Badaling Wildlife World. In 2009, a trespasser was killed by a tiger after he climbed the wall into the enclosure, while in 2014, a park ranger was also killed by a tiger after leaving his vehicle. Just this March, an employee was trampled to death by an elephant while performing routine maintenance.
The park, however, maintains that visitors are made well aware of the dangers and are warned beforehand to never exit their vehicles. Park rangers also remain vigilant in case of an incident, but as the below video shows, these measures do little during an unpredictable tiger ambush.
The following video may be considered disturbing for some, but does not show the entirety of the attack.