As it turns out, humans aren’t the only ones subject to body shaming – tigers get it too (and much more).
On Chinese social media, people have been poking fun at photos of tubby tigers found at the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin. The images show the wild beasts looking adorably portly as they lounged around, looking like they just came from a buffet.
This led many to joke they had overindulged during the country’s Spring Festival, an annual holiday where city-dwellers come home to the countryside and feast with their families.
Others, however, aren’t laughing.
The Born Free Foundation said that the obesity is a result of an inappropriate and unnatural diet, plus inadequate opportunities for exercise and natural behaviour.
“In my view, this is not funny or ‘cute’. These animals are ill,” said Will Traverse, president of the organisation.
The zoo, on their part, said that this is all part of the tigers’ winter diet to help them survive the cold months. Once summer approaches, these animals will gradually slim down.
This isn’t the first time the Siberian Tiger Park has attracted controversy.
According to News.com.au, the place has questionable feeding practices. Tourists buy meat and feed the animals themselves, usually taunting the cats by keeping the food just out of reach. They also feed the tigers crates and crates of live chickens, which might explain the bulging bellies.
“The sadistic feeding never stops for the amused tourists,” the article said.