A Chinese theme park has apologized after tourists complained that employees strapped a pig into a bungee jump attraction and dropped it, BBC News reports. The pig was reportedly taken to slaughter after its “jump.”
Meixin Red Wine Town theme park in Chongqing, China wanted to celebrate the opening of its new bungee jump attraction. To mark the occasion, employees hauled an adult pig, estimated to weigh about 165 pounds and adorned with a purple cape, to the jump platform at the top of the attraction. The pig, who — in at least one of the videos of the incident — could be heard apparently squealing in distress, was then dropped from the tower. The animal appears to survive the incident, bobbing about on the stretchy cord just as a human jumper would.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, what happened to the animal afterwards, but some reports say it was taken to a slaughterhouse.
Internet commenters were outraged.
One user acknowledged that some may see a bit of hypocrisy by those who are advocating for humane treatment of animals but still eat them. However, this user pointed out that there is a difference in consuming animals and treating them poorly.
“Killing animals for consumption and treating them cruelly for entertainment are two different things. There is no need to torture them like this,” they said.
WARNING: The video below contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers.
Another commenter questioned whether or not such a gauche display of disregard for animal rights could be used to advertise.
“This is a super vulgar marketing tactic,” they wrote.
The theme park seems to have taken the criticism to heart and has issued an apology.
“We sincerely accept [the] criticism and advice and apologise to the public. We will improve [our] marketing of the tourist site, to provide tourists with better services,” the statement reads in part.
In China, animal cruelty is not a crime, and China’s record when it comes to animal rights is spotty — at least by Western standards. For example, as The Independent reports, the country is home to a dog-meat festival in which dogs are burned alive by blow torches before their meat is harvested. The British newspaper notes that many Chinese are horrified and appalled at the practice.
Jason Baker, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) senior vice-president of international campaigns, said that he hopes the bungee-jumping pig incident is a wake-up call to China’s burgeoning animal rights community.