A disturbing video doing the rounds on the internet has raised major safety concerns for both the humans and the animals featured.
In the footage posted online, a 7-year-old girl named Katie can be seen riding atop an alligator during a kid’s birthday party. Not knowing about the possible dangerous consequences, Katie sits on the back of the predator, but leaps off in a minute.
What is more alarming is the fact that a man kept motivating her to sit back on the reptile, while her mother is seen on the side, filming her daughter.
Now, some might say kids will be kids and that they don’t know what they are getting in to, but watching these adults encouraging the young girl and getting happy when she finally sits back is very disturbing.
After the video went viral, it came to light that a Chicago-based company throws birthday parties for children and gives them a chance to ride on the back of “Buba” — the 8-foot long alligator described as a “living dinosaur.”
In the alarming video, the deadly reptile can be seen crawling slowly on a mat, visibly weighed down when Katie sits on it.
While Katie’s mother clicks her photos, the trainer tells her to smile and give thumbs up, which she does.
“That's awesome,” another child can be heard exclaiming in the video.
It is not yet known how tamed these predators are but people are generally outraged after viewing this video, labeling the incident as cruelty.
Not only can this situation be very risky for a child but it is also very painful for the animal. An alligator’s back does not have the capability to support a human’s weight like horses or camels. And a child won’t know how to save itself from deadly predators in case it decided to attack.
“Keeping alligators captive and treating them as wind-up toys is detrimental to their health and well-being. These wild animals should be left in peace, not harassed by humans and certainly not treated as part of some callous and idiotic sideshow,” said Elisa Allen, director of PETA U.K..
Just last year, an alligator dragged a 2-year-old child into the Seven Seas Lagoon near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Orlando, even as his father tried to wrestle the beast and save his son. Later his body was located 10 feet away from the original spot on the lake where the horrific occurrence took place.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters, YouTube Screengrab