In the eyes of ?? ????: A drone is knocked out of the sky after being chased by a group of tigers in China pic.twitter.com/fiEghQKwR4— ITV News (@itvnews) February 23, 2017
Remember that adorable viral video from last year of a polar bear petting a dog at the Mile 5 Dog Sanctuary in Canada and how, it later turned out, the polar bear wasn’t so adorable, after all, because it ended up eating one of its canine “friends” at the sanctuary?
Well, something similarly upsetting involving cute animals on the internet has happened this week.
Recently, a video of “chubby” Siberian tigers chasing a drone in China took the internet by storm.
As per initial reporting on the video, the tigers, housed at the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park in China, were being made to chase the drone to help some of the overweight ones slim down.
A lot of people found the tigers’ struggle to down the drone “adorable” and “cute.”
However, newly uncovered truth about the video’s location will change everything.
As it turns out, the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park is a slaughter farm.
Reminder: China has an estimated *7* wild tigers left. Many more in this video = obviously a tiger farm. They'll be turned into bone & wine https://t.co/7hxmkSDei2— John R Platt (@johnrplatt) February 23, 2017
Motherboard reports the farm, which claims to have 800 captive tigers, “specializes in contraband like tiger bone, meat, pelts, and a speciality [sic] called ‘bone wine.’”
The online magazine cited an investigation by McClatchy DC that found “animals in deplorable conditions… merchants openly sold bone wine, despite a 1993 ban by China on bone products sourced from both domesticated and wild tigers."
Bone wine is an ancient Chinese “herbal” concoction believed to have numerous benefits, including enhancing virility. Despite being illegal, it’s still very popular in China.
The park has often been accused of animal mistreatment as well. According to a report by news.com.au, the facility allows tourists to wildly handle cubs for selfies.
“There’s no requirement for gloves or face masks to be worn in order to save the young tiger from catching a disease,” the website stated.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Rupak De Chowdhuri