Thursday, 31. July 2014 - 13:07
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.
Varazdin helps flood hit Gunja
The Northern Croatian town of Varazdin has collected donations worth over 50,000 Euro for the floods hit eastern village of Gunja.
Drunken and violent Poles arrested in Zadar
Two Polish tourists have been arrested in Croatian coastal town of Zadar.
Six arrested as Israeli football fans attacked in Split
Police in Croatia have arrested six people for an attack on Israeli football fans in a street in the centre of the Adriatic port of Split.
Great start for Croat clubs in Europa League
Croatian football clubs have started with maximum points in qualifications of the Europa League.
Blanka Vlasic delights with her football juggling skills
The world's high jump champion Blanka Vlasic has delighted her fans with her football skills.
Rainbow Warrior visits Adriatic
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior has arrived for a visit in Croatia.
World Academy of Arts and Science organizes courses in Dubrovnik
In Autumn 2014 The World Academy of Art & Science and The World University Consortium are organising graduate level courses at Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Eduardo joins Flamengo
The agreement between the forward and Flamengo will be signed on the morning of Thursday, at the clubhouse in Gávea. Just as was done with the Argentine Héctor Canteros, he should receive the shirt of Flamengo from a partner-supporter chosen by the club. It is likely that he will use the number 23 at least until the end of the season.
Rijeka to open concession contract for Tito's yacht Galeb
Officials in the western Croatian city of Rijeka have decided to put out a concession contract for the luxury yacht Galeb once owned by the former Yugoslav president Tito.
Council reveals that Serena Williams holidays in Novigrad
American tennis star Serena Williams has been spotted soaking up the sun in the Croatian town of Novigrad after withdrawing from Wimbledon.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Borat Media Complains Player Is Too Attractive|
|Brazilian Footballer Drafted Into Ukrainian Army After Swapping Citizenship|
|Chess Player Shamed After Caught Relieving Herself In Lift|
|Nurse Fired For Moonlighting As Porn Star|
|Fan Spends Life Savings On Tron Bike But Is Banned From Riding It|