A Chinese zoo sparked outrage after photos showing a container ‘glued’ to a tortoise’s shell to collect coins thrown by tourists emerged on social media.
The incident was brought to light by pictures shared by a user with Alias Tea-tia on Weibo, a website like Twitter.
Tea-tia said that he captured the heartbreaking photos on China’s National Day. He added that the zoo administration deliberately did this to make people donate generously to the zoo.
He also revealed that the tortoise was given accommodation in ‘very bad environment’ and no care-taker was there to attend to it.
“I don’t know why the zoo would use this method to exhibit precious animals,” he told Pear Video.
The zoo authorities are looking into the incident, the Daily Mail reported.
In Chinese folk culture, throwing coins is identified as a source of good luck. But, last year, it did not turn out to be very lucky for a Chinese man who threw a couple of coins into a plane’s engine just before it took to the air.
The 28-year-old, having surname Lu, was boarding the flight from Anging, Anhui, to Kunming, Yunnan, on Lucky Air airline when he threw the coins into the engine.
The coins were found by ground crew during the pre-flight check and Lu was taken into custody by the authorities.
Lucky Air decided to press charges against him. Not very lucky coins, Lu.
“The incident caused a direct economic loss of nearly 140,000 yuan [$17,000], and our company will press charges against the passenger in accordance with the law,” the airline said in a statement.
Speaking about the sensitivity of a plane’s engine, Professor Ouyang Jie, from Civil Aviation University of China, said that even something as small and unnoticeable as a coin can seriously harm a plane’s engine.
Ouyang said: “The engine could tremble, lose speed and even stop in mid-air if a coin were sucked into its core. That would put all the passengers on board at great risk.”
The 162 passengers who were taking that flight had to wait an entire day before the flight could take off, South China Morning Post reported.