Cats safely relocated from zoo after monkey abuse sparks public outrage

By Yang Zekun (Chinadaily.com.cn) 08:35, January 29, 2024

Two cats were safely relocated from the monkey mountain enclosure at Kunming Zoo in Southwest China's Yunnan province on Saturday night following public outrage sparked by videos showing the monkeys dragging and pulling the stray cats.

After the two cats were removed from the enclosure, the zoo commissioned an animal hospital attached to the Yunnan Agricultural University to conduct a comprehensive examination. It confirmed that the two cats were in good health and had no external injuries.

The China Small Animal Protection Association, which sent staff members to help relocate the cats on Friday, said on Sunday afternoon that the two cats had arrived in Beijing. They will be cared for and rehabilitated at the association's facility, it said.

Video clips showing the monkeys at the enclosure dragging and hitting the cats went viral recently. Thousands of netizens questioned whether the zoo was mistreating the cats, and urged the authorities to ensure they were treated well and protected.

On Jan 18, the zoo said stray cats were introduced in the enclosure in 2013 as a rodent control measure. The cats did a good job of keeping rodents away.

The zoo said the cats and monkeys had coexisted peacefully for many years without any instance of mutual harm, and some cats had even reproduced in the enclosure. It said the issues raised by netizens involved playful interactions between the animals, and there was no evidence of abusive behavior.

Despite the explanation, netizens posted video clips again on Thursday questioning the zoo for housing monkeys and cats together, claiming the monkeys were pulling the cats' whiskers and tails.

Another video clip posted online on Friday showed visitors thwarting a woman's attempt to jump into the enclosure to rescue the cats. In a video posted later, the woman said she never intended to jump into the enclosure and only wanted to draw attention to the plight of the cats.

A netizen who has been following developments said: "Rescuing two cats may not change the world, but it can change their lives. It is recommended to regularly send inspectors to check the management conditions of zoos across the country to prevent similar incidents."

On Sunday morning, Kunming Zoo posted a statement on its micro-blog account which said: "We will carefully reflect on and improve the shortcomings and gaps in our work, and promptly incorporate opinions and suggestions from the public, to provide better living conditions for the animals."

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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