A rabbit in the Linfen Zoo in China’s Shanxi Province almost ran out of luck when a tiger cub attacked it during handover ceremony for the Lunar New Year.
Zookeepers decided to perform a symbolic passing of the Chinese zodiac baton with a tiger and a rabbit on Jan. 20 to welcome the Lunar New Year, as 2022 was the year of the tiger and 2023 is the year of the rabbit.
The video, which was posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, shows zookeepers bringing the rabbit and tiger cub into close proximity, before the tiger cub stretches its head towards the rabbit’s neck and jumps towards it as if to bite it.
The staff can then be seen shouting and attempting to separate the two animals before the video cuts out.
The video then cuts to the staff standing apart and holding the two animals separately to conclude the ceremony.
According to Chinese news outlets, the zookeepers were able to separate both animals on time and no injuries were recorded.
People on Weibo joked that the zoo “almost stayed in the year of the tiger” and “skipped the year of the rabbit”.
“The rabbit almost became a tiger’s New Year’s Eve dinner,” another Weibo user wrote.
Some users took the sudden attack as a warning of a dangerous year ahead.
Meanwhile, another handover ceremony at the Yunnan Safari Park in southern China was not only successful but also very cute.
At Yunnan Park, the tiger and rabbit both placed their prints on a red piece of paper with a blessing written on it.
Here’s hoping handover ceremonies go smoother next year and zoos manage to find a dragon for the year of the dragon in 2024.