April 4, 2008 / 1:03 PM / 9 years ago

Chinese man eaten by zoo tiger

<p>Dina, a Jordanian-born tiger, looks at visitors from its cage in Jordan's Zoo near Amman March 10, 2008.Ali Jarekji</p>

BEIJING (Reuters) - A tiger devoured a mentally ill man who entered the animal's zoo cage in northeast China, local media reported on Friday.

Zhang Yachun disappeared from his home in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, on March 24 and five days later police told his parents he had been eaten by a tiger in a nearby zoo, the China news service reported, citing a Harbin newspaper.

"Only two legs and his skull were left," the report said.

Zhang's grieving parents said their 37-year-old son suffered mental illness and "especially loved tigers".

China has a poor record of keeping people away from dangerous zoo and circus animals.

In February, a circus lion ripped a 10-year-old boy's arm off after grabbing him through the bars of its cage.

Last year, 16 government officials were sacked after a boy was eaten alive at a crocodile enclosure in southern China. And a zoo tiger attacked a 6-year-old girl waiting to have her picture taken with the animal, biting her head and killing her.

Reporting by Chris Buckley

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