Chinese sea world has apologized online after video went viral of one of its trainers putting lipstick on the mouth of a beluga whale.
The 10-second clip was uploaded recently to the popular short video platform Douyin, apparently by one of the trainers at the Shengya Ocean World in the seaside city of Dalian. In the clip, a female trainer laughs while painting the animal’s mouth red. The post was captioned “very pretty!”
Quickly, outraged erupted on Chinese social media over the clip, leading to a statement from the Shengya Ocean World, which expressed its “sincere apologies,” and admitted that the incident had occurred inside its park.
However, Shengya went on to explain that the individual who posted the video on Douyin was not the same person as the one shown in the footage, stating that the clip was filmed in 2017 and that the trainer in the footage had already left the park last month. The video has since been deleted from Douyin, along with the user’s account.
The video has caught the attention of a number of animal rights’ groups, including PETA’s Asia branch, which has called for an investigation into the incident. The last time that beluga whales got this much attention on Chinese social media was back in 2016 when Fan Bingbing made out with one.