In a video that has been circulating online, animal trainers at a circus in China are seen aggressively tying down an Amur tiger so people can ride it and take souvenir photos.
The Amur Tiger (also known as the Siberian Tiger) is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. With around 540 left in population, it is also considered as “Grade I endangered species” under China’s law on the Protection of Wildlife.
The tiger lying down on the table appeared to be in distress and powerless as around 30 people took turns to sit on his back just so they can have their photos taken.
A child was heard screaming “I’m scared! I’m scared!” as his mother attempts to carry him close to the tiger, The Mirror reported. A worker with a microphone then encouraged others saying: “How cool is it to sit on a tiger? Perhaps this can keep you away from the devils and bring you well too.”
In Chinese tradition, it is believed that sitting on a tiger or being close to one will bring good fortune as a tiger is reminiscent of the God of Wealth.
While people had their fun sitting on the poor animal, the tiger — a ferocious creature in the wild — looked utterly miserable. At the end of the video, the tiger was untied and immediately jumps off the table and runs back to his cage.
Originally posted in iqiyi.com, the video has over 92-thousand views as of this writing, with people condemning the act. It is still unknown who recorded the footage or when it was taken, but the tiger was claimed to be suffering from ill health at the time.
So if anyone asks what’s the most dangerous animal in the jungle, we all might as well look into a mirror because it’s definitely us humans.