An animal keeper startled visitors to a zoo in China’s Henan province when he took a tiger for a walk through the public area of the zoo. It happened on February 11. The keeper said he it was therapeutic for the tiger which lives in cramped conditions. The keeper Hu held the 6-month old tiger with a thin iron chain as he walked it through the public walkway at the People’s Park Zoo in Jiaozuo city in northwest Henan Province. Hu said he was giving therapy to the tiger which was born with a deformity in its hind legs, a local paper said. It published a photograph showing the tiger being walked around.
The keeper had been walking the tiger and massaging its limbs every day for the past three months before zoo visitors witnessed it. Veterinary experts have diagnosed the tiger for calcium deficiency and have put him on supplements. Initially visitors suspected it was a dog which had been painted like a tiger. Some even praised it saying the animal looked extremely “mighty and powerful”. No one has been injured by the animal. The paper quoted a zoo official saying the zoo is licensed to handle and breed tigers. But individual citizens cannot do so because tigers are endangered animals under firstclass state protection.