The incident happened at Dalian’s Sun Asia Ocean World on Sunday, Dec 29 where visitors witnessed a seal die in front of their eyes after getting its head stuck in a drain.
A video of the incident was shared on Chinese social media site Douyin, known as TikTok in English. In the video, a seal had its head firmly stuck in a drain.
One of them also tried using its flippers to pull the trapped seal away.
While three other seals swam around its body, trying to nudge it free.Visitors of the aquarium watched in horror from outside the tank as the entire ordeal unfolded in front of them.
Halfway through the video, a staff member was in the water tank and repeatedly pulled the seal by its tail.
The video ended with the worker dragging what appears to be the seal’s dead body to the shore.
In a statement posted on its Weibo page on Monday, Dec. 30, the Sun Asia Ocean World said that the incident occurred at 11.25pm.
Here is a translation of its full statement:
“On Dec. 29, 2019 at 11:25pm, at the seal enclosure of Sun Asia Ocean World, a seal had used his mouth and claws to open up a protective covering over a drain, causing it to get stuck by accident.
Professional trainers rushed to rescue the seal, but were unable to save its life.
We are devastated about the seal’s passing, for the seal was born here in the aquarium.We’d like to thank the public’s concern regarding this incident.
We will continue to investigate the matter, and make every effort to continue our work in the conservation and rescue of marine animals.”
This was not the first time Sun Asia Ocean World has been criticised for its poor treatment of animals. And they issued a public apology and expressed its “deep remorse” after a backlash from Chinese netizens.
Please, please be nice to those animals under your care!