A “CRUEL” zookeeper accused of boiling big cat bones to make wine has been mauled to death by a tiger.
The man in his 50s, who has not been named, was cleaning the animals’ enclosure when he was attacked on May 8.
He had been left alone inside the pen by his colleague at the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village in the city of Guilin in southern China.
The zoo, which says it has over 1100 different tiger species as well as more than 600 Asian black bears, was once one of the country’s largest breeding facilities, Chinese media reports.
But the facility has also been blasted by some after news investigations in 2016 claiming to have found dishevelled tigers in run down enclosures.
And when the animals die, they are carted off to a factory to make Chinese tiger bone wine, the South China Morning Post reported.
The victim had been cleaning the cage with another colleague, who left and returned some time later to find the man lifeless.
There were no tourists at the time of the zookeeper’s death this week, as the facility has been closed for renovations since November 1 last year.
While the zoo has confirmed the cause of death to be a mauling, it has not specified which species of animal attacked the employee.
Among its 1100 tigers are South China Tigers, Bengal tigers, white tigers, and Siberian tigers.