A young man has been killed by a tiger in front of his horrified wife and child after entering the big cats' zoo enclosure.

The incident occurred at the Youngor Wildlife Park in the city of Ningbo, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of Shanghai.

An onlooker took footage of the tiger dragging the man under some trees and sinking its teeth into his neck as two other big cats lurked behind.

Zoo visitors raised the alarm soon after he was attacked by the predator but it took zoo staff about an hour to grapple the man from the tiger's firm grip, according to local reports.


The tigers were eventually driven away by firecrackers and a water cannon, said a report in the Beijing Youth Daily, which added that the man was rushed to hospital but later died.

One tiger in the enclosure was shot dead by local forestry bureau staff.

One witness said the tiger wouldn't allow the man escape: "I saw the tiger mauling the person, whose face was covered with blood. Every time he sat up, the tiger pushed him down again."

The reports said it was not clear how or why the man, whose wife and child had come to the park with him, had gotten into the tiger enclosure.

The zoo was closed at 3pm local time while police and local forestry bureau staff arrived at the zoo at about 3:15pm.