Video footage shows a man throws objects at a bear in Beijing Wildlife Park, Nov. 19, 2017.
A man has been criticized by the public after photographs emerged of him apparently attacking bears by throwing objects at them in Beijing Wildlife Park on Sunday, although the man claimed that he was throwing food to them.
Since the images were posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo on November 19, web users have slammed the man for harming animals and not following the park's rules.
"It is common sense that visitors are not allowed to feed animals in any zoo. [You are] harming them," the user @Tods_Deer said, while other netizens reprimanded the man for risking his life to feed the bears.
Following an investigation which was launched after the photos went public, the park administration confirmed in a statement on Monday that the man had left his car in a restricted area and twice thrown carrots at areas containing black and brown bears.
The park said in a statement that its staff members had explained the safety protocols to the man when he arrived and that animals are isolated from visitors on self-driving tours.
Nevertheless, the park still does not allow visitors to leave their vehicles at any point during their tour.
Facing a wave of criticism from the public, the man said in an interview with Beijing Youth Daily that he thought the area was safe as there were staff on patrol, explaining that he had left his car briefly to throw the bears some carrots.
However, he also admitted his behavior was inappropriate and promised not to repeat it.
Security at China's wildlife parks has taken center stage recently after a number of incidents which saw people injured or killed.
A female tourist was mauled to death by tigers in 2016 when she, together with her family, left their car during a self-driving tour in Beijing Badaling Wildlife World, which also caused another family member to be seriously injured.
In August this year, a male tourist was attacked by a bear while trying to feed it through his car window, sustaining bite marks on his arm.
Incidents like these have repeatedly caused a splash on Chinese social media, with netizens debating who is to blame for the casualties.
Most public opinions tend to slam those who ignore clear instructions and leave their vehicles inside wildlife parks.