Lonely Planet Writer

Tragedy of peacocks shocked to death by tourists in Chinese zoo

Two peacocks died in separate incidents at a zoo in China after groups of tourists picked them up for selfies and also plucked at their feathers.

There are an estimated 6,800 peacocks at wildlife park in city
There are an estimated 6,800 peacocks at Yunnan Wild Animal Park In Kunming city Image by Madison berndt / CC BY 2.0

The deaths came around the same time as a baby dolphin was fatally manhandled by holidaymakers at Santa Teresita beach in Argentina where beach goers also took selfies with the innocent mammal. The incidents with the peacocks occurred within days of each other at Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming City in the last two weeks, according to a report in the People’s Daily Online.

Management at the peacock park claim the unruly behaviour appeared to shock the birds and ultimately cause their death, reports MailOnline. Over 6,800 green, blue and white male and female peacocks are housed in the park. The birds are allowed to roam freely among visitors to the zoo as proof that there is harmony between humans and animals.

The peacocks were manhandled by the tourists at the zoo and had their feathers plucked causing them to become shocked, leading to their deaths
The peacocks were manhandled by the tourists at the zoo and had their feathers plucked causing them to become shocked, leading to their deaths Image by Matthew Britton / CC BY 2.0

The first death was caused by tourists squeezing the bird too tightly while they took their pictures. The group also plucked the bird’s feathers – an action that frightened the male to death, according to eye-witnesses. This led to an angry reaction by onlookers to the antics of the tourists, with a statement by park authorities shortly afterwards blaming the “uncivilized behavior” for the fatality of the five-year-old bird.

Three days later, a group of four tourists manhandled another peacock which again resulted in its death. Photos were posted on Chinese social media of the people grinning as they held up the peacocks. An investigation by authorities is now underway into the two deaths.