A STATUE has been installed in Yancheng Zoo in eastern China in memory of the donkey that was thrown alive into a tiger den, purportedly over a shareholder dispute concerning poor park returns.
The statue called “A Donkey’s Monument” was reportedly erected this week following international outrage over the incident, which was caught on video and then spread on social media.
UK-based The Donkey Sanctuary (TDS) said on its website that the monument was installed outside the pit where the donkey was thrown to its death last month.
The accompanying inscription on the monument tells the sad tale of how the unnamed donkey lost its life, in both English and Chinese.
“I was born in the country on the farm. I should have grown up to have children and enjoy life on earth. This monument is calling for justice. I died in vain and should be remembered.”
Reports on the matter last month said the group of men, who can be seen in the video hauling the donkey out of a truck before throwing it to a pair of hungry tigers, were led by a zoo investor.
In the graphic video that quickly went viral, the struggling donkey was immediately attacked by its hungry prey when it was pushed into a moat around the enclosure.
Witnesses said the men were trying to take the donkey and several animals out of the park to sell them but decided to feed the animals to the tigers when they were stopped by security. After the donkey sacrifice, the men tried to do the same with a sheep but were blocked by staff and zoo visitors.
It was later revealed that the animal was sacrificed because of a boardroom dispute between the investor and managers about poor returns from the zoo in Changzhoi, in Jiangsu province.
The zoo has since apologised for the incident and promised it would never happen again.
According to TDS, it started a petition on the incident and sent a letter of protest to the zoo but has not received any response to date.
TDS’s head of communications Dawn Vincent said: “The images of the terrified donkey will live long in the memories of the 23,000 people who signed our petition calling on the zoo to ensure this never happens again.”
“Neither they nor the Chinese embassy have responded to that petition but we shall continue to request that we do. This monument is a sad reminder of a truly dreadful act of animal welfare abuse against an innocent victim.”