A Chinese theme park has been forced to apologize for pushing a pig off a platform in a "bungee jump" used to entertain guests. The animal was heard squealing in videos posted to social media as it plummeted almost 220 feet from a platform at the park over the weekend, according to BBC News.
The report by the BBC said the backlash against the stunt on Chinese social media was significant enough to draw an apology and a vow from the "Meixin Red Wine Town" theme park to "improve our marketing of the tourist site, to provide tourists with better services."
The theme park, located in the Chongqing region of southwest China, tied the 165-pound pig to a bungee cord, with a purple cape around its neck, for an event dubbed the "golden pig bungee jump" to launch its new bungee jump attraction Saturday, the BBC said.
The animal was brought onto the high platform tied to a pole by several employees before being attached to the bungee cord and pushed off. It survived the plunge, but was sent to a slaughterhouse after the stunt, according to Chinese media.
An image from video posted widely across social media in China shows a pig dangling from a bungee cord after being pushed off a high platform as part of a publicity stunt at the Meixin Red Wine Town theme park in Chongqing, China, on January 18, 2020, according to Chinese media outlets.
While a few posts on China's popular social media platforms, including the Twitter-like site Weibo, defended the "bungee jump," noting that the animals are eaten anyway, many lashed out at what they said was a blatant act of animal cruelty.
There is no law against cruelty to animals in China, but as the BBC reported, sentiments against such behavior have been rising in the country.
"This is a super vulgar marketing tactic," said one online commenter, or "netizen" as they are commonly known in China.
"Killing animals for consumption and treating them cruelly for entertainment are two different things," another was quoted as saying by the BBC. "There is no need to torture them like this."
The BBC quoted Jason Baker, senior vice-president of international campaigns at the U.S.-based animal rights group PETA, as calling the stunt in China "animal cruelty at its worst."
"Pigs experience pain and fear in the same ways that we do, and this disgusting PR stunt should be illegal," he told BBC News.