Video of 'chubby' tigers taking down a drone may be way darker than you think

PHOTO: Youtube/CCTV+

A video of "chubby" Siberian tigers taking down a drone, complete with a silly soundtrack - like so much viral content - is more than what it seems.

While the video's been shared far and wide, but the origins of the footage have been a cause for concern for a while now.

As science journalist John R. Platt tweeted, the footage is "obviously a tiger farm."

While the name of the park isn't mentioned in the description of the videos (as to avoid searching of the park's record according to Platt,) the location is.

Heilongjiang Province in China is the home of Harbin Siberian Tiger Park. It's one of the two biggest tiger-breeding facilities in the country, according to a 2013 report on the country's clandestine tiger trade by the Environmental Investigation Agency.

The park is advertised as a tourist attraction, where visitors can offer meat and even live animals, to the tigers.

As per a report by McClatchy, the number of visitors doesn't cover the cost of feeding or breeding hundreds of tigers each year. The real money comes from the sale of tiger pelts, tiger bone wine, and other products that have been banned in China.

McClatchy visited Harbin Siberian Tiger Park, and reported bottles of tiger bone wine on display - albeit not advertised as tiger bone wine, but some had images of tigers on the packaging.

Some of these "bone strengthening wines" advertise the use of tiger bone in its manufacture to distinguish itself from other wines in its category, according to the Environmental Investigation Agency's report.

The same park was under scrutiny after conservation groups were outraged at images of obese tigers, thought to be seriously ill.

Meet the chubby tigers from China's zoo

  • Chinese New Year's barely over, and we've all gained a few kilos from stuffing our faces with yummy goodies.
  • It seems that the tigers from Siberian Tiger Zoo in Harbin, China, have also indulged in some festive feasting.
  • Photos of the chubby big cats chilling out in their enclosures are being shared on Chinese social media, with netizens saying: "Admit it, this is you after celebrating the new year."
  • The tigers have good reason for their rounded bellies though -
  • their fat reserves can help them survive the freezing temperatures in Heilongjiang which can dip as low as in -38 degree Celsius during the winter.
  • The appearance of these well-fed felids is also a nice break from photos of emaciated animals in some zoos around the world.
  • And as adorable as they look, let's hope the tigers will lose the pudge by summer.

Read the full article here


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