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London Zoo says wellbeing of animals first priority after beer thrown at tiger

Reports of animal welfare issues are being investigated by Westminster Council and nearly 65,000 people have signed a petition to stop parties.

Jae Jae, a male Sumatran tiger, lives in the Tiger Territory where beer was thrown at one of the mighty cats

London Zoo has come under fire as nearly 65,000 people have signed a petition to stop evening parties where beer was thrown at a tiger.

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has defended itself saying 'the wellbeing of our animals is always our first priority' after being accused by visitors of putting the animals' welfare and the public's safety at risk during the Friday summer night Zoo Lates sessions which attract around 6,000 people each time.

As well as nearly 64,200 people having signed a petition by 1pm today asking the Regent's Park zoo to stop the parties, Westminster Council, who are responsible for issuing the zoo's licence, has asked for a full report into what happened.

Stories have allegedly come from zookeepers of alcohol-fuelled incidents where beer was thrown on tigers and staff, a naked man tried to enter the penguin pool and a woman attempted to get into the lion enclosure.

Butterflies are said to have been crushed and glass thrown at animals.

A ZSL spokeswoman said: "The wellbeing of our animals is always our first priority and we would like to reassure those people who have taken the time to sign the petition that we would not continue to run any event or activity which compromised this in any way.

"We are taking every measure to ensure our Zoo Lates evenings are positive experiences for both our animals and visitors and will continue to work closely with Westminster Council to make sure they are satisfied we are meeting and exceeding all license requirements."

People from all over the world have signed the petition which says: "London Zoo states there are no animal welfare issues but even if a person's drunken behaviour wasn't compromising animal safety, any late night event at the zoo should not be happening and London Zoo should stop exploiting their animals.

"London Zoo needs the money, but the animals don't need the stress."

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