Man jumps into tiger cage at Chengdu Zoo to feed tigers rice

| February 17th, 2014

A man in Chengdu learned the hard way why you aren’t supposed to feed the tigers at the zoo.


The 26-year-old man named Yang Jinhai jumped into the tiger cage at the Chengdu Zoo with a backpack full of rice. The tigers weren’t interested in the rice, but a tiger did bite the man. He was rescued by over 50 zoo employees before he suffered any serious injuries.

Chengdu Business Daily has the story:

Yesterday, at the Chengdu Zoo, a man entered the white tiger’s cage and was dragged around by the tiger. The zoo dispatched more than 50 people to successfully rescue him.


Yesterday around 10 o’clock, a man climbed the tree outside of the fence at the tiger house of the Chengdu Zoo and jumped into the white Bengal tiger’s outside activities area. In the activities area, there were two adult Bengal tigers. After jumping in, the man became aggressive, yelling at and provoking the tigers. If the tigers had lost control, the consequences could have been disastrous…


After a tiger saw him enter, the tiger [named Ningbo Mother (宁波母子), according to an article at the Huaxi City Paper] grabbed onto his clothing. The man was overturned by the tiger and dragged on his back. He put his hands behind him, trying to break free, but to no avail. The other tiger [named Shenyang Mother] might have been scared by the man’s wild antics. It hid in the corner four or five meters away from the male tourist and wandered around slowly.


Over 50 zoo employees took part in the rescue. They used a water pipe to spray water and separate the man from the tiger. But the other tiger was reluctant to leave. The workers climbed the fence and hit her with a tranquilizer gun.

The man, named Yang Jinhai (杨金海) and born in 1987, apparently wanted to feed the tigers. A lot of rice was found in his backpack after he was rescued. “He said he wanted to feed the tigers,” a security guard quoted by the Huaxi City Paper said. (The Huaxi City Paper article was republished at

One tourist named Mr. Wang saw Yang gazing around before he climbed the tree. Mr. Wang was quoted by the Chengdu Business Daily as saying, “Many tourists were scared and told him to climb down. But he didn’t listen, and he yelled loudly.”

After standing in the tree for about three minutes, he jumped into the tiger cage and went crazy waving his arms and legs and yelling at the tigers. It wasn’t until the tiger was about to bite him that he began to look scared, one of the tourists said.

UPDATE (as of 8:31 am, Feb. 18, Beijing time): An article by the Huaxi City Paper reports that Yang was willing to sacrifice himself as well as feeding the tigers rice.

From the article: “Huaxi City Paper: What would you feed him? Yang Jinhai: Inside my backpack was a lot of rice. I could also give myself to feed the tigers.” (“华西都市报:用什么喂?杨金海:我包里带得有米,我还可以用自己喂老虎。”) (from Huaxi City Paper, published to Xinhua)

8 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

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