Parasailing donkey stunt condemned

Police
in southern Russia are investigating allegations of animal cruelty after a
donkey was made to parasail as part of an advertising stunt.

The
donkey was sent up more than 100ft into the sky last week by entrepreneurs
hoping to attract people to their private beach.

Witnesses
near the beach on the Sea of Azov in the Krasnodar region said the animal had
been screaming in fear.

It
landed in the water and was pulled onto the shore, said police.

“The
donkey screamed and children cried,” regional police spokeswoman Larisa
Tuchkova said.

“No-one
had the brains to call police.”

Instead,
bystanders took photos and phoned newspapers, she said.

“It
was put up so high into the sky that the children on the beach cried and asked
their parents: ‘Why did they tie a doggy to a parachute?”

“The
donkey landed in an atrocious manner: it was dragged several metres along the
water, after which the animal was pulled out half-alive onto the shore,” Tuchova
said.

The
businessmen responsible may face criminal charges for animal cruelty, which
carries a heavy fine and jail time.

The
stunt was condemned by the Brooke equine welfare charity, whose president is
the Duchess of Cornwall.

“The
Brooke is appalled at the cruel and irresponsible behaviour of the people
behind this ‘advertising’ campaign,” said Kimberly Wells, an equine
welfare advisor.

“There
was clearly no thought for this animal’s welfare before they strapped it into a
parachute, sending it catapulting into the sky.

“This
animal would have been extremely distressed, suffering immeasurable fear and
pain. This should never have happened.”

WORLDdonkeySTORY

A donkey attached to a parachute flies over a beach in Golubitskaya. Russian beachgoers got a shock when they saw the donkey in the sky
Photo: guardan.co.uk
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