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article imageVictims to blame in fatal tiger attack in China, probe finds

By AFP     Aug 24, 2016 in World

The Beijing wildlife park whose tigers killed one woman and injured another this summer was not to blame for their deaths, an official investigation concluded Wednesday.

The tourists ignored park rules and clear warning signs when one of them alighted from their car in an area that contained ten free-roaming Siberian tigers, the investigation by Beijing's Yanqing district government found.

The attack took place at Badaling Wildlife World on July 23, when a woman in her thirties surnamed Zhao opened the car's passenger door, calmly walked around the vehicle and stood outside the door on the driver’s side. A tiger crept up, swatted her and dragged her off.

The husband of the 32-year-old woman surnamed Zhao leapt out of the car in pursuit, as did the woman’s 57-year-old mother. She tried to hit the tiger but was attacked by two other tigers and mauled to death.

The tourists should not have left the car, the report found.

The park allows visitors to drive their own cars safari-style through an area where the animals roam free. But signs, pamphlets and oral instructions tell them to stay in their vehicles.

The wife suffered severe injuries while her mother was killed. Zhao's husband and the couple's two-year-old child, who was in the car at the time, escaped injury.

But the report also noted some problems with the park’s emergency response training and urged it to find "innovative" ways of reminding tourists to pay attention to safety.

Park personnel spent nearly 15 minutes shepherding the 10 tigers into their pens before rescuers reached the mauled women, it said.

Badaling's tigers have killed before, with a security guard mauled to death in August 2014.

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