A series of photos showing a pair of lions being pelted with snowballs at a Chinese zoo have caused animal lovers around the globe to voice their outrage via the web.
According to Xinhuanet, the photos — taken at Hangzhou Zoo on January 5 and later posted on China’s microblogging site Sina Weibo — were shared countless times and received thousands of comments criticizing the blatant animal cruelty.
The Hangzhou Weekly reports the incident started after a sole visitor threw the first snowball, inciting others to join. The lion and lioness huddled together, as seen in the photos below, until the attack was over.
The group then moved on to other targets, according to the Weekly:
“When the group either tired of the “fun” and/or exhausted the snow around the enclosure, they moved on to similarly harass the zoo’s tigers, monkeys, giraffes, alpaca and… you get the drift.”
After the photos of the snowball assault surfaced online, they quickly went viral. Not surprisingly, many people were appalled by the senseless act of abuse, calling for greater protection of animals and more “moral education.”
One commenter, from the popular Chinese site Netease, wrote:
“Why didn’t the photographer or zoo keepers stop these tourists? The zoo should provide a room for these animals rather than make them stay in the cold.”