Zookeepers say a man who had both arms ripped off by a rare tiger when he stood too close to the big cat’s cage had been drinking.
Vo Thanh Quoi, 49, is now out of danger following the horrific incident at the Thanh Canh eco-tourism park in the town of Thuan An in south-eastern Vietnam’s Binh Duong Province.
Mr Vo was a former employee at the park who had returned to pay a social call on his former workmates.
He had reportedly been drinking before he arrived at the park and keepers said he smelled of alcohol, according to local media.
Initial reports suggested that Mr Vo, originally from An Giang Province, was trying to give the tiger a bath.
However, fresh reports state that he was watching the tiger at feeding time when he accidentally rested his right arm on the cage of the tiger which grabbed him through the bars.
He tried to fight off the big cat but ended up losing his entire right arm and his left forearm, and was rushed to Cho Ray Hospital, in nearby Ho Chi Minh City.
Doctors say Mr Vo’s condition is no longer critical but he remains under close supervision and will need to undergo further surgery.
Dr Nguyen Khanh Hung said Mr Vo has also suffered a serious chest wound but was expected to make a good recovery considering his injuries.
Provincial forest protection officials have launched an investigation into the incident at the park which local media says has been closed to visitors for some time.
Police have revealed that Huynh Van Hai, the owner of the eco-tourism park, had previously been jailed for illegally trading in tigers and tiger body parts for use in traditional medicine.
Vietnam’s ecotourism parks, which often feature live animal performances, have been criticised for the lack of care given to often endangered species.
The Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is native to Vietnam but scientists believe it is now extinct in the wild in the country as none have been recorded since 2017.
The Indochinese tiger still exists in the wild in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. It has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2008.
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