Netizen Voices: Tiger Abuse

A Chinese delegate at a convention on endangered species recently admitted that China allows the skins of captive tigers to be traded. In a revelation echoing this, a People’s Daily weibo went viral last night:

人民日报: Netizen Reveals Tiger at Tianjin Zoo Thin as a Rail: Netizen @曉Q_Fiona writes, “This photo was taken today by my friend at the Tianjin Zoo. Seeing this really makes me sad to the point that I cannot hold back my tears. I don’t know how I can help it! I just sent a message to [World] Animal Protection, but I don’t know if it will be of any help. Please, if you can, help me think of a way we can improve the living conditions of the tigers!” We would ask related departments to please verify this, and call for kind treatment of animals!

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【网友曝光天津动物园一老虎骨瘦如柴】据网友@曉Q_Fiona :“这是今天朋友在天津动物园拍到的,看的我抑制不住的想流泪,不知道怎样才能帮助它!刚刚给动物保护协会发了邮件,不知道会不会有用,请有门路的朋友帮忙想想办法改善老虎的生活现状!”请有关部门予以核实,并呼吁善待动物!

The post has been commented on over 15,000 times. Some decry the abuse of the tiger, while others point out the lack of information in this one post:

叫我琦大宝: I think we should really just get rid of zoos. If you think about it, there’s really no reason for zoos to exist!

我觉得真该取消动物园,仔细思考下动物园完全没必要存在!

张匯: Is this the only tiger that is emaciated? If many animals in the zoo are all this skinny, then it’s the zoo director’s fault. But if it’s only this tiger, perhaps it’s sick, or there’s some other reason.

只有这只老虎骨瘦如柴吗?如果动物园很多动物都骨瘦如柴就是园长的问题,如果是一只的话可能就是它生病了,或其他原因吧

曉Q_Fiona appears to have deleted her original post. The text quoted by People’s Daily is nowhere to be found on her Weibo account. “I’m just here for laughs. I didn’t post anything earth-shattering,” the user wrote this morning [Chinese]. It’s likely she/he hit delete because so many netizens compared the suffering tiger at the zoo to another “tiger”–Zhou Yongkang, the former Minister of Public Security now undergoing a graft probe. Users left plenty of comments on the People’s Daily post:

利迪-中国: The deputy director of some zoo in Tianjin is corrupt as well? For chrissakes…

天津的某园某副园长也贪了?我勒个去~

熊猫_LAN: His meat has all been eaten by the warden.

肉都被园长吃了

More straightforward criticisms of the system which brought Zhou to the height of power and is now tearing him down have been deleted from Weibo:

北京指神A: If there was no [Communist] Party, then these “big tigers” like Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou wouldn’t have become fat cats in the first place. They have been a scourge on this country for all these years, yet they are just now being removed… The party shouldn’t be bragging about how wise they are, they should be offering the people a sincere apology!!!

没有党,养不肥周永康、徐才厚这些大老虎,他们祸害国家和人民这么多年,现在才被拿下,党不应该吹牛逼说自己多么英明,而应该向人民真诚谢罪,说声对不起!!!

木子老龙: We knew Zhou Yongkang had been taken out a long time ago, but we also knew that those at the top didn’t let us know. So we all acted as if we didn’t know for the time being, waiting for the top to give us the OK: “Now, you may know.” Once they did, we broke into song and dance, celebrating the capture of a “big tiger.” And after this, in order to protect ourselves from harm, we still have to wait for the top to approve the things we should and should not know. What an adorable country this is.

我们很早之前就知道周永康落马,但我们知道上头不允许我们知道,所以我们都装作暂时不知道,等待上头什么时候一声令下“现在,你们可以知道了”,于是载歌载舞,欢庆大老虎落马。在此之后,为保护我们不受伤害,我们该知道什么,不该知道什么,仍然要等待上头审批。这是个多么可爱的国度。

赵楚: There’s no doubt that Master Kang had it coming. The problem is that this isn’t news to begin with. What needs to be examined is the fact that this super-old news and these long-standing “rumors” have now turned into a huge news story. It has been made public now, but society and the academic sphere can’t even discuss the matter freely in any official manner. In other words, what system was it that placed this corrupt individual on the top? Was it not the same insolent authoritarian system that took him out?

康师傅罪有应得这是毫无疑问的,问题是,这本不是新闻,这样的超级旧闻与长期“谣啄”变成超级新闻,这本身才是值得解读的。现在公布了,但对此事社会或学界不能进行官方口径之外的自由评论和讨论。一句话,是什么机制把这样的贪腐分子送上顶峰?不正是拿下他的这种唯我独尊的权力制度吗?

杨-绍-政: What is freedom of the press? Before he was investigated, all reporting on Zhou Yongkang was great, glorious, and correct. Not a single [Chinese] media outlet reported anything on his investigation as it was going on for over a year. But as soon as the Communist Party of China announced that an investigation had been opened, the media immediately perked up, freely spreading negative reporting. This is press freedom with Chinese characteristics. Am I right?

什么叫新闻自由?被调查前,对周永康全部是伟光正的正面新闻报道,周永康被调查一年多,没有一家新闻媒体报道过此事件。一旦被中共中央公开宣布立案审查,所有媒体立马兴奋,自由起来了—负面新闻铺天盖地。这就是有中国特色的新闻自由。对不对?

好雨霏霏N: The newly enthroned emperor catching corrupt officials from the previous dynasty—the best way to establish one’s might and win the hearts of the people. It’s a tried-and-true method of the last two thousand years: the more you people take out and the higher the position of the guys you nab, the greater the applause and love from the people. The truth is the people are the playthings of those in power. But can the people eat distractions? Imperial power is always strengthened by attacking adversaries and stabilized by fooling the people.

新登基的皇帝抓前朝贪官,是树立威严、获取民心的最佳路数,两千年来屡试不爽,抓得越大越多,赢得的掌声越激烈,百姓的信心越爆棚。其实,百姓就是权力下的玩物,看热闹能当饭吃?皇权,永远是靠打击对手而强大,永远是靠愚弄百姓而稳定。

Read more deleted comments at CDT Chinese.

Translation by Little Bluegill.