Man abusing a tiger cub
A zookeeper abuses a tiger cub Youtube

A zookeeper in China has been sacked after a video surfaced of him abusing a South China tiger cub.

The footage shows the unidentified man holding and smacking the near-extinct species on the head. South China tigers have not been seen in the wild for some 25 years and there are only around 100 in captivity.

He later returned and allowed a friend to play with the 40-day old cub.

The incident, which occurred at the Nanchang Zoo in East China's Jiangxi Province, led to the immediate dismissal of the keeper.

The zoo posted a statement on its website saying: "We found misconduct on the part of one of our zookeepers and he let someone who doesn't work for the zoo enter the nursing room, which violates our rules.

"After a physical check, we found the cub is fine without injuries. It is healthy and another skilled zookeeper has been assigned to take care of it."

A video has emerged showing a man abusing a tiger cub sir Mordekaiser/Youtube