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Beijing Zoo replies to questions about the lions skinny appearance

By Huang Jin (People's Daily Online)    16:11, October 22, 2015

The slim lion shown in the photo taken by the animal rights activist. (Photo/Beijing Youth Daily)

Two other female lions. (Photo/Beijing Youth Daily)

Recently a defender of animal rights released two photos on his Weibo which showed a lion in the Beijing Zoo looking skinny and another tiger also looking very slim. He believes that the lion is sick or hungry and its not getting enough food.

The Beijing Zoo responded yesterday that the lion is really slim but it was not sick at the time. The lion is getting enough! The tiger in the photo is a Bengal tiger which is known to have a small size. The spokesman said that in the future the Beijing zoo will pay more attention to animals' diet and weight monitoring.

Peng Zhenxin, director of the animal department, said that the lion in the photo is a male white African lion which was born in 2006 and is exhibited at the northwest zoo. It is actually relatively thin. The normal weight of an adult African lion is about 150 kg. However the lion in the zoo only weighs around 90 kg. "We are also trying to improve its health by exercise and nutrition. However there's been no significant improvement in its weight."

The Beijing Zoo has 232 staff members, 29 veterinarians, 7 senior technicians and 6,223 wild animals. The professional nutritionists deploy a balanced diet to each animal.  

According to Peng the food for lions and tigers is very abundant. "Better than human food," Peng said.

Peng said the zoo will pay more attention to animals' diet, especially that of lions and tigers. Its vets will also keep checking their health regularly. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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