In the first incident on Sunday, a 55-year-old caretaker surnamed Yang was mutilated to death by a tiger while cleaning his cage at a zoo in eastern Anhui Province, state media reported.
Yang had been a tiger master at Zhanggongshan Zoo in Bengbu for nearly two decades, state newspaper Global Times reported.
Police shot dead two tigers on Tuesday after mutilating a zookeeper during mealtime and escaping from their enclosure in a park in central Henan Province. The guard, nicknamed Jia, was hospitalized and later died from his injuries.
Authorities in Danjiang Peacock Valley, Xichuan County evacuated guests and staff as police and forestry workers were called to the scene, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing local government notices.
Attempts to anesthesia or entrap the animals were unsuccessful. Fearing that the tigers might make their way into the dense forest near the park, where they could pose a danger to local residents, police decided to shoot them, officials told the broadcaster.
According to Beijing News, the tigers were on loan from a circus in Suzhou, Anhui province, more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) away, and were rented for a performance in Henan Park. Officials in Suzhou said the use of tigers for shows has been banned since 2018 and no licenses have been approved for their transport or use, the newspaper reported, adding that an investigation would be held.
Authorities in Xichuan are also investigating the Danjiang Peacock Valley and ordered the company to suspend operations, CCTV reported.
The tiger attacks also come weeks after three leopards escaped from a park in Hangzhou – which neglected to tell local residents for a week. Two of the leopards were captured but one remains at large, presumed dead.