WARNING: THE VIDEO CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE DEPICTS ACTS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY.
Apparently, throwing terrified pigs off of a bungee jump attraction was considered a form of entertainment for guests attending a Chinese amusement park.
A video circulating of a reluctant swine being hurled off the edge of a tall structure while adorned in a blue cape ignited outrage from animal activists and social media users.
The stunt took place at Meixin Red Wine Town amusement park – located in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing – and celebrated the opening of the new bungee attraction and the upcoming new year.
Here is a news report of the horrific stunt.
People who watched Saturday's disturbing footage of two men hoisting the 165-pound pig up onto the steel structure, only to force it off from a height of 223 feet, were disgusted and furious.
Sounds of the pig squealing in horror can be heard as it was flung while attached to a safety harness.
The shameful lack of humanity exhibited during the promotional stunt was voiced on Twitter.
Users of Weibo – China's equivalent of Twitter – were also furious over the animal abuse.
One user said:
"I cannot understand how such act which involves animal abuse can be funny."
PETA Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker wrote Daily Mail a statement, saying:
"A bungee jump is a scary experience even for consenting humans - just imagine the outright terror of being forcibly strung up by your legs and thrown from a high platform."
"That's the treatment that this pig received, all for a cheap laugh. Well, guess what? No one's laughing."
"Pigs experience pain and fear, just as we do, and this kind of disgusting PR stunt should be illegal."
Wendy Higgins, a spokesperson for Humane Society International, agreed with Baker.
She called the promotional stunt causing the animal suffering, "truly vulgar."
"Unfortunately this kind of exploitation is not uncommon in China, symptomatic of a system that provides no legal protection for animals and no legal incentive to respect them as sentient beings and consider their welfare or feelings."
"The outrage online to this incident is indicative of how out of step this cruelty is with the growing concern for animal protection among Chinese citizens, and it really is time that policy makers in China caught up with that sentiment."
Employees of the amusement park denied accusations of animal cruelty.
Instead, they told Beijing News that the stunt was just "an experiment."
But after the severe media backlash, officials apologized on the park's official Weibo account, which read:
"We sincerely accept [the internet's] criticism and advice and apologize to the public."
"We will improve [our] marketing of the tourist site, to provide tourists with better services."
People had a hard time accepting their apology, while most others rejected it.
Baker added that the amusement park deserves all the negative responses and that they should prompt an immediate "wake-up call to China's policymakers" to implement laws protecting the welfare of animals.
There are currently no nationwide laws in China that prohibit the mistreatment of animals.
However, some legislation protecting the welfare of animals – especially ones that are being researched – are limited to institutions such as zoos.
According to the New York Post, the terrified pig from the video was taken to the slaughterhouse after taking its plunge.