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Open letter to China

The Donkey Sanctuary has been left appalled by footage of a live donkey being fed to tigers at the Yancheng Safari Park, a zoo in eastern China. Not only have our expert staff condemned the grossly inhumane act, the charity's supporters have made their voices heard in disgust in this incident. Now we are calling on you to add your name to our open letter condemning this severe act of animal cruelty and seeking urgent clarity on China's policy on the feeding of live animals to captive predators.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
cc Yangcheng Safari Park

Dear Honourable Ambassador

We are writing to express our sadness and disbelief with regard to a recent incident at the Yangcheng Safari Park, Jiangzu Province where a live donkey was fed to its captive tigers. The incident, captured on video, is currently resulting in a great deal of coverage and concern internationally.

It is reported that a disgruntled shareholder of Yangcheng Safari Park, organised a group of men to seize some of the zoo’s animals, including the donkey, in order to remove and sell them. The shareholder was reportedly unsatisfied with a court ruling that all assets, including zoo equity and animals, are currently frozen in a debt dispute.

The news reports claimed that the shareholder was prevented from removing the animals by zoo security. Apparently angered by this, and captured on video, the group of men are filmed tipping the donkey from a flat-bed truck directly into the water-filled moat surrounding the tiger enclosure. Onlookers were reported as saying that the men subsequently tried to throw a live goat in too, but were stopped by visitors and security staff.

Alex Thiemann, one of our experienced vets said: "The welfare of this donkey has been utterly ignored. The actions of these individuals could only have had one possible outcome – the drawn-out and excruciatingly painful death of a frightened animal. And yet they seem to enjoy what they are doing. What they have done is inexcusable, and the Park authorities need to ensure it never happens again."

We are seeking urgent clarification about this incident. If the news reports are correct, what steps are being taken by Yangcheng Safari Park to ensure that this shareholder does not seek to seize further animals? We would also like to know more about the circumstances in which this incident took place as well as any policy China has on feeding live animals to captive animals.


The form to add your name to our open letter has now CLOSED. Thank you so much for your amazing support - more than 23,000 people have signed our letter which will be delivered to the Chinese Embassy in London later today (Thursday, 8 June 2017).



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