Pics of the bricks that visitors hurled at kangaroos at the zoo in Fujian, killing one and injuring another. Zoo staff say visitors often throw objects at animals despite it being ‘prohibited’. pic.twitter.com/KwFCIcfRQ9— Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) April 20, 2018
A 12-year-old female kangaroo has been killed by rock-throwing visitors at a Chinese zoo.
China Daily reported that the animal was "pelted with jagged stones," causing an injury on its foot, and likely causing internal bleeding due to a ruptured kidney.
Veterinarians had treated the foot but didn't know about the internal bleeding until it was too late.
Fuzhou Zoo authorities said that visitors often toss rocks at the animals to get them to wake up or hop around.
A few days later, zoo visitors injured a 5-year-old male kangaroo by hurling pieces of a brick at it. Fortunately, he is expected to make a full recovery.
China has often come under fire for treatment of animals living in captivity. Dozens of tigers died at a zoo in 2010. A captive bear called "the world's saddest polar bear" was found neglected at a shopping mall in 2016. And an image emerged this February of puppies being fed to pythons.
Critics have also, for many years, condemned China's annual Yulin festival, in which an estimated 10,000 dogs are killed for meat — many of them through cruel means such as clubbing or being boiled alive.
While animal cruelty is certainly a problem worldwide, China clearly has an enormous amount of work to do to join the modern world in its treatment of animals. It currently has no nationwide laws that explicitly prohibit mistreatment of animals, with the exception of some specific laws for zoos and research.
Given its massive population and the fact that its ancient culture has been suddenly thrust into the modern world by way of its exploding economy, it's no surprise that mistreatment of animals is still a huge problem there. But the country's laws will need an ethical overhaul on the topic of animal welfare if they are to become a truly cosmopolitan society.
Banner image credit: Pixabay, zlobocki