Feed the tigers, visitors told
4:00AM Sunday Jun 21, 2009
The Zion Wildlife Gardens in Whangarei re-opened yesterday with a bizarre incentive for visitors – to come and feed the tigers.
The troubled centre was shut down by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry last month, after keeper Dalu Mncube was mauled to death by a tiger.
But yesterday, the incident appeared a distant memory as dozens of visitors were allowed to feed some of the park’s 40 tigers through a fence.
Zoo fix-it man Tim Husband insisted the feeding was safe, saying none of the visitors was put at risk.
Husband was called in on a three-month contract to iron out problems at the wildlife park.
Zion had already suffered problems before Mncube’s death, with the mauling of another keeper and the vexed departure of former park operator Craig Busch, famous as television’s Lion Man.
Yesterday, MAF said it was satisfied the welfare of the animals was not compromised.
Zion also complied with requirements to provide separation facilities in all big cat enclosures.