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North China Tiger Found Slaughtered in Park

An adult female North China Tiger in a wild animal park in Yichang in central China's Hubei Province was found slaughtered in a very cruel way with its fur peeled away and its head removed.

Changjiang Times reported that the body was found at the Three Gorges Wild Animal World in the early morning on Thursday, when the breeder of the tiger, who was the first upon the gory scene, prepared to feed the animal. He was shocked by what he saw and immediately reported the incident to the local police. The safari park was closed soon after.

Police officers rushed to the scene to investigate any possible clues. So far, they have identified that the bloody crime was a butchering triggered by greed, and it is still under investigation.

The deputy director of the Yichang Forest Bureau Wang Ping reaffirmed the killing of the tiger. But he said further information about the shocking crime would not be disclosed until the police have made further progress in the case.

The North China tiger has been a protected species since 1977. In 1994, it was listed as one of the most endangered animal species in the world by the World Wildlife Fund.

Located 14 kilometers away from the city's downtown area, the safari park shoulders a significant responsibility in rescuing and breeding endangered wild animal species. Besides tigers, it also looks after some black bear, African lion, crocodile, and other ferocious wild animal species.

( December 22, 2007)

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