HORRIFYING pictures show a severely malnourished white tiger lying on its side unable to stand at a zoo in China.
Concerned visitors at the Lianyungang zoo on the eastern coast of China captured the heartbreaking pictures of the “dying” animal on November 28.
The once-majestic animal is pictured lying on the stones within its enclosure with its stomach completely sunken in.
The tiger’s hip bones can be seen poking out through its fur while its legs look painfully thin.
A day after the depressing images were posted to the Chinese social media app Weibo, the zoo released a statement claiming that the tiger had been recovering from stomach problems.
The staff said that the white tiger recently had acute gastroenteritis.
They said: “The tiger was very healthy before, but recently it had acute gastroenteritis.
“We have treated it for 22 days. The tiger is very fierce and cannot be treated like a human being.
“Therefore, the recovery is slower.”
The staff said that there are four tigers in the park, and only this one is currently sick.
“It is a white male tiger,” staff said.
“The white tiger is genetically different from other tiger species, so it is prone to gastrointestinal diseases. Animals are sick and sick.
“Almost all of them are weak and have no appetite.”
While the zoo denies that the tiger was starving, one anonymous visitor claimed to have been left disgusted by their trip to that zoo.
Posting to Weibo, they said that they saw tourists play with small animals and saw a porcupine dying beside a pile of porcupines lying in excrement.
They even said that the tigers were left with no space and could only “turn around and walk two steps” while in their enclosure.
The rare white tiger species are usually found in Russia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan and can have territories that range from 10 to 30 square miles.
Currently, there are between 5,000 and 7,000 wild tigers living throughout Asia.