The carnage occurred after Chinese authorities closed the zoo for two months due to the coronavirus lockdown. Zookeepers returning to work took harrowing footage that showed hungry foxes eating the carcass of an alpaca. The recent footage shows the arctic foxes devouring the dead alpaca inside a filthy cage at the indoor zoo in Changsha, Hunan Province of central China.
Hundreds of other animals, including squirrels, rabbits and guinea pigs, starved to death when the owner struggled to look after them due to plummeting profits.
The zoo, called The Animal Party Themed Park, in Changsha, Hunan Province has allowed staff members back on site.
One staff member said: “One of the alpacas literally starved to death because there wasn’t enough food stored for them.
“Animals were starting to eat each other.”
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The employee went on to describe how her fellow colleagues used their own cash to feed the malnourished animals but discovered they had perished when they returned to find the zoo’s owner, who hadn’t paid them since January, had not given the food to the animals.
The zoo manager, known by his surname Wu, claimed the animals died because “they weren’t used to the local weather”.
And he denied a lack of food was behind the mass deaths.
The manager claimed most of the animals had been transferred to a local animal farm in early February.
Any live animals will now be removed from the zoo, while management are forced to deal with the carcasses.
This horrific tragedy happened as workers in Wuhan, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in China go back to work.
The epicentre of the virus has begun to loosen its two-month lockdown on citizens as more countries issued new restrictions to contain the pandemic.
On Monday, small groups of residents in the central Chinese city were leaving their residential compounds, going to grocery stores and walking along the streets for the first time in weeks.
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At the weekend, the first train arrived in the city ferrying more than 1,000 workers from elsewhere in the province back to the city for work.
On Sunday, local authorities said residents could begin returning to work if they did not have a temperature and could provide a green health code, signifying their virus-free status as well as a certificate from their employer.
Officials said the city would be gradually reopened and public transportation would resume.
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