Two lions hit with snowballs at the Hangzhou Zoo in China caused animal rights activists to erupt in a rage. The photos of lions being hit with handfuls of snow by visitors as unwary zoo workers shovel snow elsewhere, is another example of animal cruelty and abuse running rampant in the country.
Huffington Post, on Jan. 10, shared details of the photos many viewers find too difficult to view.
Reportedly, the snowball-throwing incident with the lions began when one visitor encouraged others to join in. One throw of snow at the big cats led to other visitors joining in on the animal cruelty free-for-all. The crowd cheered as the defenseless lions were hit with snowballs.
Sadly, there was little the king of beasts could do; the lion and his lioness mate were pelted over and over with flying shards of snow. With nowhere to escape, they hunkered down in a corner and shivered.
The images posted on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter, are hard to watch. However, as one Reddit user said, this incident, while disturbing, is benign compared to others.
Redditor, Triviumsogerd, shared this:
"The sad thing is, this is way better than what they normally throw. When I went LAST YEAR people were throwing anything they could get their hands on at the animals. Such as full plastic water bottles, coke cans, also full, rocks, and the worst part is NO ZOO STAFF WAS PRESENT."
After the defenseless lions were hit with the snowballs, an employee spoke to the media about the matter.
A breeder at the zoo in China said workers were unaware about the incident until it was too late; they were busy elsewhere clearing away snow in parts of the facility. Still, they were outraged by the behavior of the visitors.
"Although snowballs can't hurt large animals like lions, the behavior upset us nonetheless. Our animals should be treated fairly. We hope our visitors will use some self-discipline and be nicer to them," said Zhu Yan.
Ironically, China has cracked down over animal abuse at its zoos. However, it appears the laws don't apply to visitors. Imagine that?
Whoever would hit lions with snowballs and think it's entertainment and the big cats enjoy it?