Lions hit with snowballs: Scene photos went viral, anger netizensBy Alex Jusi Madlangbayan on Jan 12, 2013 in Animals, Asia, Science, World •
China‘s Hangzhou Zoo lions were hit with snowballs by visitors last Saturday, January 5, 2013. Photos of the incident were uploaded on Sina Weibo, China‘s micro-blogging site similar to Twitter, and instantly went viral, according to a report by the China Daily on Wednesday, January 9.
The snowball throwing scene reportedly received thousands of comments from angry netizens and was shared for over 80,000 times.
During an interview with Xinhua News Agency, zoo breeder Zhu Yan said that zoo workers did not see visitors throwing snowballs. Yan explained that everyone were trying to clear the snow around the zoo when the incident happened.
Reports say that one of the visitors started throwing snowballs on the lion and others followed.
Based on comments by netizens, it was not the first time that snowballs were thrown on animals at the Hangzhou zoo.
Below is Yan‘s statement about the incident.
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.
The Chinese government has banned animal abuses in zoos but the guidelines did not clearly show that it is applicable to zoo visitors.
With the recent incident, officials must act swiftly to stop these type of abuses by irresponsible zoo visitors.
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