The woman who infamously got out of her vehicle inside the Badaling Wildlife Park only to be mauled by one of its tigers is officially suing the park for 1.557 million yuan in compensation.
This is a little less than the woman had wanted before, when she declared that she would sue the park for $2 milllion yuan in October. It’s unclear why she decreased the amount.
The 32-year-old tourist surnamed Zhao maintains that she was not fully informed about the dangers of stepping foot outside her vehicle during the “safari-style” drive through the Beijing park. She has also accused the park of lacking contingency plans and rescue methods after the tigers attacked her and her mother.
The incident occurred on July 23rd, surveillance footage shows Zhao getting out of her car and walking around to the front driver’s side door. Unfortunately for her, she chose to leave the safety of the vehicle while her family was driving through the tiger enclosure. A tiger suddenly appeared behind Zhao and dragged her away. She managed to survive the attack, but tragically, her 57-year-old mother, who rushed out to try and save her, did not.
An investigation in August found it was unlikely that the park would be found at fault for the incident. Visitors driving private vehicles into enclosures are required to sign an agreement first promising to “close and lock car doors, never feed the animals, and never get out of the car.” To remind them of their agreement, signs are placed around the zoo forbidding visitors from exiting their vehicles and patrol cars blare similar warnings.
In an online poll in August of over 310,000 netizens, only 2.3% thought that the zoo should be punished for the attack.
However, last week, a full video of the tiger attack was released for the first time, showing that it took workers 20 minutes to rescue Zhao and her mother and carry them away from the scene. After watching the video, some have become more sympathetic to Zhao’s viewpoint, saying that the park didn’t seem to have any rescue protocols, as workers simply tried to scare the tigers away from their prey by honking horns and revving engines.
In October, Zhao admitted her culpability in the incident, but declared that the park should take 70% of the responsibility. The park has already settled on paying 1.2 million yuan in compensation for the fatal incident, but says that it is only doing so out of “moral obligation.”
In the end, the vast majority of Chinese netizens remain on the park’s side in this case.
“I’ve never seen something as shameless as this,” writes one Weibo user.
“The zoo should give her the tiger as compensation,” commented another.
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