A donkey reportedly became collateral damage over a dispute between an investor and managers of a zoo in China.
Shocking video uploaded to LiveLeak on Monday shows a group of men shoving a donkey off the back of a truck and into a tiger exhibit. The donkey lands with a splash into a moat that surrounds the enclosure.
The donkey struggled for 30 minutes in the water as several tigers pounced on it, according to China’s English language news site the South China Morning Post.
The below video was reportedly filmed on Monday at the Yancheng Wild Animal World in the Jiangsu province of eastern China.
Warning: The below footage is graphic:
Zoo officials said in a statement released on the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo that investors in the zoo threw the donkey into the tigers’ enclosure after becoming frustrated over a dispute between the zoo and another company that led to the freezing of the zoo’s assets, the BBC reported.
The investors responsible for the feeding frenzy reportedly attempted to take the donkey and other zoo animals out of the zoo in order to sell them, but security stopped them, according to the South China Morning Post. So the investors shoved the donkey into the tigers’ moat instead, the news outlet reports.
In the video, zoo visitors can be heard reacting with horror and surprise as the donkey lands in the predators’ exhibit.
In the official statement, zoo officials apologized for the incident and said that they would ensure that “a similar incident would never happen again,” according to a translation by the BBC.
As the Telegraph’s China correspondent Neil Connor pointed out, violent scenes are a common attraction in the country’s zoos and animal safaris.
Big Cat Rescue, a Florida-based animal rescue sanctuary, has accused China’s Harbin Siberian Tiger Park for selling tourist packages that allow visitors to feed live chickens and cows to their tigers.
Video of the incident went viral on Chinese social media and many commenters responded with disgust over the investors’ actions.
In a statement emailed to HuffPost, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), which provides animal welfare standards for organizations in its network, said they were “appalled” by the video and “strongly condemned the act as cruel and inhumane.”
“WAZA calls on the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens to investigate the incident and adopt clear guidelines on the live-feeding of animals at zoos and aquariums,” the association said.
The Yangcheng zoo is not a member of WAZA.