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Controversy Swirls After Video Of Tigers Taking Out Drone Goes Viral

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New footage of tigers chasing a drone in China has many flying high with excitement, but the backstory will bring viewer enthusiasm back down to the ground.

Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) recently shared footage from Harbin Siberian Tiger Park, showing a pack of tigers chasing a drone around an enclosure before it flies too low and is batted out of the air by one of the cats.

The pack descends on the downed camera to give it a chew before the drone starts smoking, scaring away the animals.

CCTV uploaded the footage on Feb. 22, claiming the drone-chasing exercise is a way to keep the tigers fit.

tigers drone
The Siberian tigers take a bite out of a drone. (Photo: CCTV screengrab)

Cute, right?

Maybe not.

The tiger park, in China's Heilongjiang province, is home to hundreds of big cats — and even bigger controversy about how they're kept.

A 2014 McClatchy investigation found the tigers were being kept in "deplorable conditions," noting how many animals were found "rolling in their excrement" in small cages.

The report also implicated the park as less of a big cat sanctuary and more of a "tiger farm." It notes the cats are raised and harvested for their bones, which are then used in traditional Chinese medicine to make wine.

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