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And Now, Tourists Pluck Peacocks’ Tail Feathers In China Zoo

Tourists visiting a zoo in eastern China reportedly plucked tail feathers from four live peacocks. This is the third such instance reported from China and the second from Liwan Zoo in Yangzhou, Jiangsu this year. It’s unclear how the zoo-goers managed to enter the enclosure that houses the majestic birds as visitors’ access to it was barred after a similar incident earlier this year. Pictures going viral on Chinese social networking sites seem to suggest that all the four peacocks’ long tail feathers had been pulled out, South China Morning Post reports. According Beijing Youth Daily, the tourists tugged so hard on the feathers that there were traces of blood found by zoo-keepers. 

An adult peacock can have anywhere between 100 to 150 long tail feathers, according to National Geographic. Each brilliantly-hued feather has vibrant eye-shaped markings. Peacock feathers are thought to bring luck in many cultures. 

South China Morning Post reports Liwan Zoo has assigned two additional staff members to watch over the birds and will play out a pre-recorded audio message telling visitors not to disturb the peacocks.

In 2016, two peacocks died after visitors at a wildlife park in Beijing chased them and tore out their tail feathers.

Earlier this month, visitors to a zoo in Fujian province killed one kangaroo and injured another by throwing bricks at them in an attempt to get the big marsupials to hop.

China’s lightly regulated zoos and wildlife parks often make headlines for all the wrong reasons, typically involving abysmal conditions in which animals are kept or insensitive actions by zoo-goers.

Among recent examples, horrified visitors to an animal park in Jiangsu province last June watched as tigers killed a donkey that was released into their enclosure by investors angry over a business dispute related to the zoo.

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