Chinese internet users were outraged after a video showing a tiger being hit and sat upon hit the internet, allegedly from an animal park in China's Zheijang province.
The video shows a seemingly drugged Siberian tiger strapped to a table, where it's straddled, bounced upon, and repeatedly slapped on the head by what appear to be professional animal handlers — with an audience apparently watching the action.
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Meanwhile, photos from China's northwestern Jilin province province appear to show tourists sitting on the back of a tiger cub strapped to a wooden table, according to AFP.
Social media users soon seized upon the video and images and expressed their concern on the Sina Weibo service and others, while the Jilin park in Changchung insisted the cub was not one of their animals, but instead belonged to a traveling troupe.
The park decided to end the circus contract after the outcry and fined the troupe $810 for the abusive incident, reported the Chinese state-run Global Times, indicating that China — often the subject of bad publicity for similar abuse incidents — may be moving in a more animal-rights conscious direction.
"Why on earth would anybody want to treat a beautiful animal in such a manner...?!" wrote one aghast YouTube commenter, while other Twitter users reacted in a similar fashion.
Once, strapping a baby tiger to a table for tourist pics not a big deal in China. Before social mediagoogle.com/hostednews/afp…
— Not Rupert Murdoch (@RupertMurdochPR) May 7, 2013
— Rebecca Buechel (@peacegalaxy) May 7, 2013