Heavily sedated Siberian tiger was paraded on stage for casino ceremony
Bleary-eyed and confused, this severely sedated Siberian tiger was exhibited in front of gamblers to mark the opening of a ritzy flagship casino in Russia’s ‘Las Vegas’.
The five-month-old in danger of extinction animal called Crystal was the star fascination of the opening ceremony played under bright coloured lights and deafening music.
The dazed big cat was relocated 4,850 miles from a zoo in the Ural Mountains after being purchased for £4,500 by the casino three days previously.
He was strutted on stage for the grand opening of the Tigre de Cristal compound on the eastern fringe of Siberia, where stylish women in tiger body paint danced for the mass.
Vladimir Putin anticipates to use Russian razzle-dazzle to tap into the profitable marketplace of near-neighbour China, alongside Japan and South Korea, as well some Western gamblers fascinated by the new casino city.
A man in a suit carries Crystal after the endangered animal was paraded at the front of the stage
Police have now launched an enquiry into how the treatment of the tiger was after the case was stressed by the Siberian Times.
Native blogger Irina Butkovska said it was ‘very irritating’ the casino ‘began with a crime…animal abuse’.
Media outlet Vostokmedia blamed the casino of a major fault as people in the local region are dedicated to protecting the Siberian – or Amur – tiger species, with around 500 creatures left over alive in the wild.
‘It is improbable that locals comprehend when a live tiger cub was carried and put under the glare of publicity with loud music to the enjoyment of the crowd,’ said the media outlet.
‘The consequence that the casino will receive a reputational loss rather than advantages.’ Story by Will Stewart and Thomas Burrows for MailOnline
Droopy eyed and heavily sedated, the tiger is paraded at the front of the stage in front of moneyed gamblers
The tiger was bought three days ago for £4,500 from a zoo in the Urals and has been dropped into the casino as part of the entertainment
Zoo director Ekaterina Zotova explained: ‘Before the show we gave her a sedative. Any vet gives such medication to cat or dog during the transportation. They are absolutely harmless and necessary to the animal, for example, to prevent sickness or aggression from the loud music. Predators have different reactions on such things. What’s more, we know that Crystal arrived in Primorye only three days ago. After sedation, the tigress dropped her lower eyelids. It lasted for only 10-15 minutes.’
She denied any cruelty in parading the tigress at the casino grand opening. ‘For us, this animal is very valuable, and we would not let do anything bad to her,’ she said. ‘She was in the casino just for an hour and we immediately brought her back. She is in her enclosure now, meowing, and playing since the early morning. She has a good appetite.’
Police are investigating the medication given to the tigress to induce drowsiness after local media highlighted how the wild animal mascot was paraded while being under sedation at a ceremony that followed last month’s ‘soft’ opening. There has been a storm of protest over the casino’s use of a cosatose Siberian tiger cub – named Crystal.