Footage revealing a Siberian tiger climbing and escaping from a high cage has surfaced, which naturally frightened crowds who ran and screamed from their seats.
The incident happened during a show in the Central China early September, where local school members were in attendance.
In the video, the evening performance shows a handler directing the tiget to the side of the cage when the big cat suddenly leaps and starts to climb upwards.
Audience members then jump from their seats and scream “run!” as the cat appears to escape.
Authorities are said to have searched throughout the night for the large cat while urging members of the public to stay inside.
The tiger was eventually found in a cornfield the next day and successfully tranquillized 12 hours after its escape. The animal was then hauled out of the field behind a tractor.
While the tiger was successfully recaptured, it died while being transported to a local zoo. Now, two organizers have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation.
Authorities say the young cat was seized from the circus along with a second tiger as well as lion and transferred to Xinxiang Zoo for safekeeping.
But the zoo claimed the tranquilized tiger was found dead on arrival. Feng, a zookeeper, revealed to Chinese media:
“It wasn’t even breathing, so we didn’t attempt any sort of treatment. We’ve kept the carcass in a freezer and are waiting for a vet to perform an examination.”
Feng then revealed how the tiger had been hit by a car during its escape and possibly may have suffered internal injuries as a result but according to county officials, further investigations are now pending an official necropsy.
Investigators say the traveling circus from East China’s Anhui Province had been granted a license to perform in the county on September 1st, but added that organizers did not register their September 6th show, the first public event.
The two organizers have been detained for questioning, including 23-year-old Zhang Haitao and his wife, Wu Xiangyan.
It was revealed that Wu’s husband loaned the two Siberian tigers, one lion and one monkey as well as one goat from another circus.
According to Zhang’s contract, any accidental death to a tiger would incur a 100,000-RMB or $14,000 penalty.