WARNING: Distressing Content
A Chinese zoo has been publicly criticised after feeding a live donkey to a pack of hungry captive tigers.
Horrified tourists looked on as a group of zoo staff members pushed a live donkey into a tiger enclosure, only to witness them tearing the animal apart thanks to their natural hunting instinct.
You can watch the disturbing footage in the clip below:
According to eye-witness reports, a disgruntled shareholder ordered the donkey's savage death at the Yancheng Wild Animal World – also known as the Yancheng Safari Park.
In viral footage taken by one tourist, people can be heard shouting, 'No, they wouldn't!'. Yet, a group of men wearing translucent red raincoats proceed to follow orders and push the donkey into a moat inside the tiger pen.
The tigers quickly start the hunt biting and clawing at the helpless animal, but the donkey is believed to have survived for up to an hour.
The killing took place in front of families with young children visiting the zoo.
Members of the public were outraged that the popular zoo in Yancheng City, in East China’s Jiangsu Province, would pull such a stunt, but the facility claims it was not their staff who did it.
A statement released by the zoo to local media claims it was one of their shareholders who had his men feed the donkey to the resident tigers – whose exact species was not specified.
The investor is said to have been dissatisfied after a local court ruled against the zoo last year during a debt dispute, freezing the park's assets as a result.
Employees at the zoo said the shareholder arrived with a large vehicle on the morning of the incident and attempted to remove several of the animals so they could be sold for cash.
However, when they were stopped by the staff, they drove the animals to the tiger enclosure and tossed the donkey into the water.
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Pictures taken from the scene show that the small lorry was also carrying what appears to be a goat, which was not fed to the predatory big cats.
The park says they have since 'calmed' the shareholder down and they are now looking into the case.
Local authorities have yet to announce whether any arrests would be made.