Saturday, 25. October 2014 - 06:10
05. 12. 12. - 15:00
Horrific images of big cats kept in cramped cages and forced to perform for audiences are threatening China's thriving circus industry.
Amazingly, the grim big top snaps were taken after new animal welfare laws came into force across the county more than two years ago.
They show tigers and lions kept in rusty cages so small, the once-proud beasts cannot even stand up.
Often they are fed whatever scraps the performers can lay their hands on as they struggle to make a living.
This troupe - from Suzhou, Anhui province, eastern China - is considered well run by Chinese standards and is proud of living up to recent animal welfare regulations.
But even when they perform, they look frightened and desperate.
New laws in China allow big cats - which cost 10,000 GBP each to buy - to perform for audiences but they are banned from undertaking dangerous stunts like leaping through flaming hoops.
Owner Gu Yuanji claimed: "Our animals are very well cared for. Each one of then represents a huge investment of time and money - we wouldn't dream of hurting them. We love in harmony with our animals."
But one animal welfare expert said: "China's standards fall woefully short of most of the world. These animals look frightened and underfed."
"It's disgraceful putting such magnificent beasts through such agony for human beings to gawp at.
"Now even local people feel this isn't the way to treat wild animals and they are turning away from this sort of entertainment," they added.
Policeman Beating Girl, 13, Divides Romania
A Romanian police officer has resigned after a video that has split the country showed him beating a 13-year-old girl in custody who was part of a gang of convicted killers that preyed on the elderly.
Granny Spinner Likely To Escape With 30 GBP Public Order Fine
The Romanian teenager who grabbed a terrified woman and spun her around in the middle of a street for a "joke" is likely to escape with a 30 GBP fine - because his victim is too terrified to file a complaint.
National History Museum shows ancient gold coins returned from UK
The Romanian National History Museum in Bucharest has exhibited a rare collection of ancient gold coins that had vanished and have now been returned from the UK where the customs had held them.
Romanian woman gives a birth for free in Serbian hospital and then leaves a baby
Hospital staff in the northern Serbian town of Pozarevac where shocked when a Romanian woman entered there, gave birth and then secretly left abandoning the baby.
Arctic opens a new fridge production line in Gaesti
Romanian company Arctic has opened a new fridge production line in the town of Gaesti in the south of the country.
Romanian businessmen discuss cooperation with Oman
Businessmen representing Romanian companies will stay in Oman for two days discussing possible ways of cooperation between the two countries.
Serbia is a homeland of vampires, not Romania, claims American journalist
An American journalist has revealed the homeland of vampires is Serbia, not Romania.
Simona Halep wins a tournament in Sofia
Romanian tennis star Simona Halep has won the WTA tournament in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Emil Constantinescu meets president of Azerbaijan
Former President of Romania Emil Constantinescu has met the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Baku
Architect of Romanian Parliament Palace dies
The Architect of the Parliament Palace in Bucharest has died.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Beggars Disable Camel For Cash|
|Russian Artist Cuts Off His Ear|
|Traffic Cop Becomes Top Of The Cops With Dance Routine|
|Shocking Pics As Boys Arm Torn Off At Zoo By Bear|
|Road Skiier Celebrates First Snow of Winter|