A shocking video has appeared online showing an Amur tiger tied down by circus staff so guests can ride on it and have their pictures taken.
The distraught animal is forced to lie on a platform, with its head hard-pressed down to the floor and its limbs bound.
Then, ticket holders for the Chinese circus are called into the tiger’s cage to sit on its back and pose for souvenir pictures.
It is thought that the circus was in Yiyang city, Hunan in southern China.
However, it is uncertain who filmed the clip, or when it was recorded.
Around 30 individuals, including young children and toddlers were invited into the ring to take photographs with the tiger.
One child even screams: “I’m scared, I’m scared” as his mother tries to place him astride the huge creature.
But a worker, using a microphone, continues to reassure guests to come forward, saying: “How cool is it to sit on a tiger? Perhaps this can keep you away from the devils and bring you well too.”
It is thought that the God of Wealth in China is resonant of a tiger and will bring good fortune to all those who come in contact.
At the end of the video, when the tiger is finally free, it instantly jumps off the platform and retreats to its cage, well away from the stage.
The footage was originally posted on iqiyi.com alongside a caption that claims that tiger looked distressed and frantic .
It was also claimed that the animal was suffering from ill health at the time the video was recorded.
The Amur tiger, also called a Siberian tiger has been driven to the brink of extermination by hunting in the 1940s when it was believed no more than 40 individuals were left in the wild.
The population of Amur tigers was enlarged in the 1980s and now remains stable – with around 540 animals now living wild.
Source: Amazing Wildlife