At the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Village, there are 2 daily shows - one starts at 11am, and a second show later in the afternoon. At the center of the zoo, there's a large staging area with audience stands. This is where the show is performed. At the front, there is a tiger and a bear (that seem pretty tame) for tourists to take photos with. The cost is $10 yuan to take as many pictures as you like.
The tiger was fast asleep, so I took my photos with the
bear sitting in a chair.
At 11am the show started. It opened with half a dozen performers riding horses, and carry flags racing out of the back, and makes a lap around the track. Next up was a group of trainers and their bears walking upright on the two hind feet. The next performance was horse acrobatics performed by performers doing all types of acrobatic moves on speeding horses. Next up was the march of the baby tigers.
A sheep among the baby tigers!
After the baby tigers, were a dozen or so monkeys riding bicycles! Most of them rode the bike perfectly, and only 2 or 3 fell of their bikes and had to drag it all the back. Have you ever seen a bear ride a horse? Well, here it is:
A bear riding a horse.
More events followed such as tiger performances; monkeys riding camels and performing acrobatics; which then lead to the finale - a bear riding a motorcyles across a high beam wire, with a person dangling below. The line is strung high up in mid air, and the bear rode a motorbike from one end to the other successfully.
That concluded the performances, and immediately after, a tour guide guides the audience about 50ft away to a large, enclosed field for training tigers “wild instincts” where another show is put on, involving tigers hunting/killing an ox. This isn't something you see everyday, so the anticipation was high in the audience.
At the start, an Ox was grazing in a large enclosed field. The zookeeper made a few announcements, explaining that this is part of their program to "maintain the tiger's hunting instincts", and then a tiger was release into the open field. The Ox was smart, it immediately sensed danger, and kept its distance from the tiger at all times. However, the funny thing is, the tiger showed absolutely no interest in the Ox, instead, it wandered around the field aimlessly, scratching its back against trees, and not doing much else.
Then a second tiger was release into the field, and like the first tiger, it showed no interest in the Ox, while the Ox kept its distance far away from the two tigers. For about 10 mintues or so, these two tigers just wondered around, scratching their claws on trees, and not doing much.
At this point, a third tiger was released into the field, but to the audiences' dismay, it also didn't do much either. After waiting another 10 mintues or so, the 3rd tiger caught interest in the Ox for whatever reasons. It began to chase the Ox which began to flee, while the other two tigers were lying flat on their stomachs doing nothing.
The tiger attacks the Ox.
After a short chase, the Ox was caught by the tiger. It put up a brief struggle, which ended after the tiger wrestled the Ox to the ground, and using its sharp teeth, put a choke hold oh the Ox neck. After several minutes, the tiger began feeding on the Ox. At this point, zoo employees came, put the tigers back inside, and took the ox away to be cleaned, and fed to the tigers.
This was an intersting, yet somewhat gruesome experience that I've never encountered before, and for individuals with weak stomachs, this is probably something you will not enjoy all that much. Seeing animals hunting / feeding on other animals on Discovery channel may not seem like much, but seeing it in real person is something totally different.
Additional Notes: I've received emails from readers about animal rights issues at this zoo. So I am posting this additional note here for readers who are concerned about this and feel passionate about animal rights issues. Before deciding to visit this zoo, please do all your research ahead of time.