At the famous upscale shopping area located in Wanda Plaza in Hohhot, China, three penguins were put on display during the mall’s mid year sales to attract attention. Shocked eyewitnesses were irate last week, when a worker was seen kicking and slapping one of the penguins in the glass enclosure where the animals are kept.
According to the Daily Mail, a video showing the abuse was recorded by a woman on June 15 who has released her name as He. She reported she was so shocked and offended by the abuse that she decided to film it. She send the disturbing footage to an animal rights group the same day as she posted the video on her own Weibo social media. The video showed a man attempting to feed the two penguins in the glass enclosure as shoppers look on. When the penguins refused to eat the fish, the man forced the food into one of the animal’s mouth. And then he kicked it to prevent the penguin from leaving. When the terrified penguin spit the fish out, the man slapped it.
Ms. He was so upset by the apparent mistreatment of the animals, she also sent a message to Wanda Plaza through her social media account complaining about what she had witnessed. The next day she received a message apologizing to her for the “unhappy” experience. The spokesperson from the company that organized the “penguin show” explained the animals were Magellanic penguins – a South American breed found in Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands, and therefore lived in the warmer climates; not like the ones most people are familiar with that live in the Antarctic. In addition, the worker was allegedly trying to feed the penguins small fish and helping them adjust to the local environment after a lengthy travel experience; explaining to the woman she didn’t understand the feeding procedures for Magellanic penguins.
In the Beijing News, the penguins were reported to be reluctant to eat and were not used to being surrounded by people. Meanwhile animal lovers from all over the world have condemned the mall’s decision to put these animals on display.
“… just for the sake of entertaining customers, the man threatens the penguin to eat by kicking and slapping,” stated PETA Asia’s Keith Guo. “It’s not a machine but animals like you and me who have feelings of happiness, fear loneliness. Taken away from families and habitat, that poor penguin couldn’t swallow any food because of psychological and physical suffer.”
Click here to watch the video.
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(Photos via Ms. He)
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