Photos of lions being hit with snowballs by visitors at a zoo in China have sparked outrage.
Posted on China's microblogging site Sina Weibo, the photos show people pelting snowballs at a lion and lioness at Hangzhou Zoo.
Breeder Zhu Yan told Xinhua that zoo workers did not witness the snowball throwing. Though the snowballs can't hurt the lions, he said, "the behavior upset us nonetheless."
According to the website Chinasmack, the two lions hid under a wooden plank and used a tree trunk as cover. They then moved into a corner as the snowballs kept coming and later the male lion roared as the visitors left.
The some dozen visitors went on to also pelt snowballs at other animals, including monkeys and tigers.
One commenter on NetEase said, "With our countrymen's characters so low, even if we had democracy, what use would it be? Once people's characters are high, the appropriate system [of government] will form itself naturally. A democracy without education and cultivation to prop it up is only the tyranny of the many over the few. If those who endorse anti-character theory died out, then there might be hope for China."
The manager of the zoo said they cannot fine the visitors but said they would call for better treatment.