WATCH: Hungry Tiger Goes Veggie at Guangzhou Zoo

By Billy Jiang, August 23, 2023

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On August 17, a video started circulating on the internet, in which an emaciated tiger at Guangzhou Zoo appearing to eat grass, raising concerns about its well-being.

Hungry Tiger Goes Veggie at Guangzhou Zoo. Video via Guangzhou Daily

A surge of criticism emerged, pointing fingers at the zoo for the tiger's apparent starvation, as it has resorted to consuming grass for sustenance.

In response, Guangzhou Zoo stated that the provided food has always been of sufficient quality and quantity. 

In relation to the tiger's consumption of grass, the zoo clarified that this behavior is natural for the animal and aids in promoting intestinal movement within its digestive system.

In a news report by Guangzhou Daily, staff from Guangzhou Zoo explained that its presence was attributed to its specific condition, as the South China Tiger sighted in the video, currently aged 19, is relatively old and equivalent to over 80 in human years.


Guangzhou Zoo addressed the matter on Sina Weibo. Screenshot by That's

Guangzhou Zoo also addressed the matter on Sina Weibo, highlighting that the South China Tiger has a naturally lean physique due to factors like inbreeding. 

The zoo's provided food has always been sufficient and high-quality, as the post stated:

"Are the tigers turning vegetarian and eating grass? Of course not. Tigers cannot digest grass. 

"The reason they eat grass is to promote intestinal movement, helping to pass indigestible items such as chicken bones and animal fur."


Tiger at Guangzhou Zoo. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

As a breeding and research center for the South China Tiger, Guangzhou Zoo has been involved in tiger conservation since the 1930s. 

The South China Tiger is a unique and rare species native to China that once had a wide distribution. 

However, due to factors like human activities and habitat destruction, the population drastically declined, leading the species to become endangered. 

Statistics show that there are now over 200 bred in captivity South China Tigers across the country.

READ MORE: WATCH: Are Humans Dressing Up as Bears in Hangzhou Zoo?

Have you recently visited a zoo with your family to observe wildlife? Do you have any interesting experiences to share? Feel free to let us know and follow our WeChat official account ThatsGBA for more updates.

[Cover image via video by Guangzhou Daily]

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