Six people sentenced up to 2 years for three leopards escaping from a safari park in East China
Published: Nov 19, 2021 05:07 PM
One of the recaptured juvenile leopards. Photo: screenshot of video by

One of the recaptured juvenile leopards. File photo: screenshot of video by

Six people responsible for a major accident resulting in three leopards escaping from a Hangzhou safari park, were sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 14 to 24 months respectively with suspended sentence, a Hangzhou local court in East China's Zhejiang Province announced on Friday.

Following an investigation, animal feeders Ding Zengquan, Han Xiang and Wang Guoquan who worked at the safari park were found to have violated the operating regulations, leading three leopards escaping through an unlocked passageway and crossing over the walls separating the wild animal area breeding farm, according to the court.

Three management personnel of the park concealed the incident from the public in order to avoid any economic and reputational loss, the court revealed. 

Even though one of the defendants Zhang Dequan knew that the escaped leopard had entered a residential area and there might be a risk to the safety of nearby residents, they still decided to conceal the incident, according to the court.

On May 7, the park admitted that the leopards had escaped, which triggered panic and criticism online over animal cruelty. On the afternoon of May 8, the second leopard was captured. The location of the third is unknown. 

After the occurrence of the case, all defendants turned themselves to the police, and confessed to the crime.

Global Times