An amusement park forced a 220lb pig to bungee leap from a 223-foot-tall tower as part of a promotional stunt that provoked worldwide uproar and was dubbed “dis.gus.ting” by animal welfare campaigners.
Footage obtained on Saturday at the Chongqing tourist site showed the animal howling in an.gui.sh as it was attached to a wooden rod and brought up the structure by two employees.
A different video shows employees carrying the sc.ared pig to the edge of the bungee platform, strapping it to a safety harness, and then shoving it down.
The pig scr.ea.med loudly as it fell down the tower while tethered to a rope and a blue cape. In the midst of the uproar, the park issued an apology to the public. A representative for the pig told local media that it had been transferred to a sla.ughterhouse and that it was fine.
The contentious event, dubbed “golden pig bungee leaping,” was organized by Meixin Red Wine Town in the Fuling area to commemorate the launch of its bungee tower on the same day.
The amusement park further stated that the show was intended to commemorate the forthcoming Lunar New Year.
However, the company received widespread condemnation from the public and animal welfare organizations after recordings of the occurrence went viral on Chinese social media sites.
According to the state-run daily Global Times, the pig weighed about 75 kilos (165 pounds) and was hoisted up the bungee tower by six personnel.
According to the story, it was placed in a lift and hauled to the top of the tower, escorted by personnel.
The bungee tower is 68 meters (223 ft) tall and is built above a pond. Many Weibo users, China’s counterpart of Twitter, accused the park of animal cr.u.elty.
‘I cannot see how such an act involving animal brutality can be humorous,’ remarked one typical reply.
‘The pig’s sc.re.ams are he.artb.re.aking,’ another person said.
PETA, an animal welfare organization, termed the prank “di.sg.usting” and “cru.elty to animals at its worst.”
‘A bungee jump is a te.rr.ible experience even for consenting people – just image the absolute dre.ad of being forcibly strung up by your legs and hu.rled from a high platform,’ said PETA Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker in a statement to MailOnline.
‘That’s how this pig was treated, just for a cheap chuckle.’ So, guess what? Nobody is amused.
‘Pigs feel pa.in and ter.ror just like humans, and this type of horrible public relations trick should be prohibited.’
According to Beijing News, workers at the park refuted claims of animal cr.u.elty, arguing that the bungee leap was only “an experiment.” The park apologized to the public yesterday for its treatment of the pig.
‘We genuinely appreciate the criticism and advice offered by many web users and hereby express our sincere regret to web users and all communities of the society,’ the park stated in a statement on its official Weibo account.
The park promised to improve its public relations management.
In China, there is presently no law protecting animal welfare or preventing animal c.ru.el.ty.
Mr Baker stated that the episode should serve as a “wake-up call” to Chinese officials who have failed to adopt suitable legislation.
‘The theme park deserves every shred of the reaction it’s receiving online, and the Chinese public’s outrage should serve as a wake-up warning to China’s authorities that animal protection regulations must be implemented quickly,’ he added.
Humane Society International, another animal welfare organization, concurred.
‘Causing animals fe.ar or mis.ery for a financially motivated PR stunt is absolutely nasty,’ said Wendy Higgins, a spokesman for the organization.
‘Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is not uncommon in China, and it is emblematic of a system that gives no legal protection for animals and no legal incentive to regard them as sentient beings and consider their wellbeing or feelings.’
‘The indignation shown online in response to this occurrence demonstrates how out of sync this cru.elty is with the rising concern for animal welfare among Chinese citizens, and it is past time for Chinese policymakers to catch up with that opinion.’