Two hungry foxes have been captured on camera chomping on the carcass of an alpaca at a zoo in China after it was shut for weeks due to the coronavirus.
Hundreds of animals there were said to have starved to death after being left unattended during the lengthy closure.
The zoo’s staff said the owner had struggled to look after the animals due to a lack of profit after closing the business for over two months.
Two foxes have been captured on camera chomping on the carcass of an alpaca as hundreds of animals stranded in a Chinese zoo ‘starve to death’ due to the coronavirus lockdown
Recent footage shows the arctic foxes devouring the dead alpaca inside a filthy cage at the indoor zoo in Changsha, Hunan Province of central China.
Over 200 animals – including rabbits, squirrels and guinea pigs – were reportedly trapped in the ‘Animal Party Themed Park’.
Staff members said some of them died from hunger during the lockdown and their carcasses were left unattended in the closed zoo.
‘One of the alpacas literally starved to death because there wasn’t enough food stored for them,’ a former zookeeper told Pear Video. ‘Animals were starting to eat each other.’
The anonymous employee said her colleagues had to use their own money to feed the malnourished animals.
‘A lot, a lot of them died. Some even died before the coronavirus,’ she added.
It came after the owner struggled to look after the animals due to a lack of profit after closing the business for over two months, the staff told the local press on Tuesday. The picture shows the empty cages in the zoo amid the coronavirus outbreak
The zoo struggled with its business since it first opened in December last year, said a worker, known by his alias Li Ping.
He said the financial difficulty was heightened after the themed park shut due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The staff members discovered the dead animals when they recently returned to the closed zoo, hoping to find the owner who hadn’t paid their salaries since January.
The staff members discovered the dead animals when they recently returned to the closed zoo, hoping to find the owner who hadn’t paid their salaries since January. Visitors are seen taking selfies at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on Wednesday
The zoo manager, known by his surname Wu, claimed that the animals died because ‘they weren’t used to the local weather.’
He denied the lack of food for the animals and told the press that most of them were transferred to a local animal farm in early February.
Mr Wu said that the management would deal with the carcasses and remove any live animals still trapped in the zoo.
Zookeepers are pictured feeding two giraffes in Cumiana during Italy’s coronavirus lockdown
The news comes as the novel coronavirus has infected over 531,000 people and the death toll has risen to 23,956.
US has overtaken China today with 81,782 confirmed cases, more than any other country in the world.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed today that he tested positive for the deadly disease, which has infected over 11,000 people in the UK and 578 deaths.