I gaze at this video with my hand to my mouth as thoughts race through my mind of utter disbelief and disgust.
Not only can I barely believe that people across the world are still treating animals like this, considering what we know about our depleting wildlife population, but also that hundreds of tourists are taking part in this hideous act for the sake of a photograph, without having any questions or concerns for the welfare of the tiger that is having to endure a constant stream of tourists being thrown upon its back as it remains tied to a solid table.
This shocking video emerged online showing a beautiful Amur tiger tied down by circus staff to enable visitors to clamber onto its back and pose for photos.
The big cat looks highly distressed as its limbs are bound onto the table and its head pressed down flat onto the platform that it is restricted to.
Those who have purchased tickets for the Chinese circus are invited into the tiger’s cage to climb onto its back, and it was even reported that one child screams “I’m scared, I’m scared”, whilst the child’s mother thrusts them upon the tiger’s huge back regardless.
A worker using a microphone during the “entertainment” encourages visitors to come forward into the tiger cage, 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 China, the God of Wealth is resembled as a tiger, and it is believed that good fortune will come to all those who come into contact with one.
Near the end of the dreadful video, the circus workers release the restraints from the tiger, and it can be seen bounding immediately off the entertainment platform, heading straight for the safety of its cage, away from the main performing stage.
It is believed that the circus was in Yiyang city, Hunan in southern China, although it is uncertain who filmed the video or when it was recorded. Although it was originally posted on iqiyi.com with a caption claiming that the tiger can be seen looking highly distressed and desperate.
There have also been claims that the big cat was suffering from poor health at the time that the video was recorded, which can be seen in the footage.
The Amur tiger, also called a Siberian tiger, is an endangered species that naturally occur in forest habitats. It is believed that only 540 remain in the wild.
You can watch the full video here.