Beijing, Dec. 24 (Reuters): Two dead Bengal tiger cubs have been found in a refrigerator at a zoo in China, where the animals body parts are prized as medicines.
This is the second such incident within a week.
The cubs were discovered at the Three Gorges Forest Wild Animal World in Yichang, Hubei Province, where a rare Siberian tiger was found skinned and beheaded last week, the official Xinhua news agency said today.
The two cubs were stillborn on November 28 and instead of reporting the deaths to the local forestry bureau in line with regulations, the zookeepers put the corpses in the refrigerator for better preservation, Xinhua said.
They only told authorities about the deaths after an investigation was launched over the weekend, the news agency quoted Cao Guangyi, spokesman with the Yichang Forestry Bureau, as saying.
The bureau has ordered the zoo to shape up its management and make the laws and regulations on wildlife protection better understood among the employees, Cao said.
The Beijing News had reported earlier the cubs were Siberian tigers and that they were found at a zoo in the southwestern province of Chongqing. Xinhua said forestry police were investigating last weeks case of the skinned and beheaded female Siberian tiger.
China breeds Siberian tigers as a way to protect one of the worlds most endangered species.Lack of funds has been blamed for a number of macabre incidents involving tigers in zoos in China.