A penguin forced to entertain shoppers at a luxury mall in China was kicked and slapped by a worker who was trying to force-feed the bird, according to MailOnline. The maltreatment was caught on video by a bystander, who’s demanding that the shopping mall issue a public apology.
The cruelty occurred at Wanda Plaza—a popular shopping center in China—where two birds were held captive in a glass enclosure in an attempt to attract shoppers during midyear sales. The mall is owned by Wang Jianlin, “China’s richest man.”
Penguin is kicked by worker as it is forced to entertain shoppers at shopping mall owned by China's richest man https://t.co/4RRcYm8O04
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 20, 2017
According to the bystander who filmed the abuse, the worker was forcefully attempting to feed fish to one of the two penguins kept in the enclosure. When the bird tried to turn away, the worker kicked the penguin. After the penguin spat the fish out, the worker slapped the bird repeatedly.
The bystander messaged Wanda Plaza online to express her concern. According to MailOnline, the mall responded by apologizing for the “unhappy experience.” A spokesperson also reportedly told the bystander that the penguins being held in the enclosure are Magellanic penguins and aren’t used to the mall’s environment. The spokesperson also said that the bystander had misinterpreted the feeding process and that the worker hadn’t abused the penguins—he was trying to get the birds adjusted to their new environment after they’d traveled for a long period of time.
Unfortunately, this is not the first instance in which mistreated animals have been kept in Chinese malls. Last year, the Grandview Mall Aquarium in Guangzhou opened the doors to its animal prison and was quickly dubbed “one of the saddest zoos in the world” because the animals there suffer from neglect, poor care, lack of stimulation, and lack of natural light. The zoo is located in a shopping mall.
Although many Chinese citizens have spoken out against the animals’ living conditions at the zoo, more awareness must be raised to help put a stop to this cruel attraction.
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