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Soldiers sent to kill quake-trapped tigers, lions
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Three paratroopers with submachine guns set off yesterday to shoot tigers and lions left in a Sichuan circus in order to protect survivors of the earthquake, Beijing News reported today.

Two caged tigers and three lions were trapped in Shifang City after the May 12 earthquake, earlier media reports said. However, officials have expressed growing concern that the animals could escape the cages and threaten survivors in the area.

The circus boss, identified as Zhou, told the newspaper that a tiger hunts in a 30-square-kilometer area and that the best option to protect human lives was to kill the animals.

Aftershocks increased concern that the animals may escape, Zhou told the newspaper.

Happy Valley Circus in Shifang released 20 deer and 10 monkeys into nearby forests after the quake, Wuhan Evening Newspaper said on May 16.

(Shanghai Daily June 3, 2008)

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