A man in China was recently killed by a walrus, while taking a selfie with it. According to an eyewitness, the animal playfully dragged the man along with him into the water.
The incident took place at Xixiakou Wildlife Park in Rongcheng city in the north-east of the country, reports the People's Daily Online.
Jia Lijun, a business man, visited the park and was taking videos and photos to upload them on the social media when the walrus grabbed him from behind. As per report, the walrus weighed nearly 1.5 tonnes.
The family got to know about the tragic news on May 11. However, local media hasn’t reported any specific date.
The Chinese media first reported that Jia was killed by a walrus which dragged him into a pool but this week they claimed that Jia had been taking selfies and videos with the marine mammal at the time of the accident, reports DailyMail.
Jia frined Wu told local reporters, “Who would have thought that at three o'clock he would send me a video, talking and laughing and just a few minutes he was drowning in the water.'
Wu learnt from an eyewitness that the attack came when Jia was posing for a selfie. His back was to the walrus, and he took a selfie, the walrus came from behind and pulled him into the pool to play. He was killed by the walrus, he didn't accidentally fall into the water.”
The animal’s keeper tried to rescue the man however the plan didn’t go well. He then decided to enter the pool and that moment the animal released Jia and rushed towards Duan. The animal held both men in a tight embrace and dragged them under the water. It was too late by the time they were rescued.
People have also criticised the park for not having any barrier between the public and the animals. While staffs of the zoo believe that it was a playful gesture as the keeper had been looking after the animal since it arrived at the zoo as a baby more than 10 years ago.
People started discussing about the issue on Weibo where one user wrote: “'Every time I see safari tourists in close contact with animals, I worry about an accident.”
Another commented: “'This is not the animal's fault. These large animals have been dangerous to humans. The zoo has no proper safety measures so where is the line.”
The walrus attraction is still open for public attraction. The zoo has taken responsibility of the tragic event and has paid Jia's family 900,000 yuan (£94,000) in compensation.
This video below gives a digital reenactment of the horrific incident:...