The attack took place on Saturday in the park’s “wild beasts area”, an open area for bears where they can roam freely while tourists visit in specialised vehicles. At the time of the incident several tourists were in the area.
In a video going viral on the Chinese social media site Weibo, the visitors can be heard screaming in fear from inside the bus as they watched a bunch of bears gathering. Someone’s heard yelling “what is going on?”
The video does not show how the employee died. However, one horrified visitor claimed on Weibo that he saw the bears maul and eat the body of the zoo care worker.
The park confirmed a worker died in the attack but gave no further details.
In a statement on its website, the Shanghai Wildlife Park said it was “extremely distressed that such a tragedy occurred”, adding that it also “apologised to tourists for any inconvenience caused”.
The park says it is currently looking into the incident, and would seek to improve its safety management and “do our best to handle the aftermath of the incident”.
The park has also temporarily closed down the “wild beast area”.
Occupying 374 acres, Shanghai Wild Animal Park keeps more than 100,000 animals with more than 200 species, according to its website.
The viral video started a discussion online where some questioned the zoo’s safety method while others questioned the very basis of keeping animals locked in visitors to see.
Even though such attacks are rare in China, there have been several incidents where a person has been attacked by wild animals.