Lions hit with snowballs
According to China Daily, the photos -- taken at Hangzhou Zoo on Jan. 5 and later posted on China's microblogging site Sina Weibo -- were shared countless times and received thousands of comments criticizing the abuse.
Breeder Zhu Yan told Xinhua News Agency that zoo workers did not see visitors throwing snowballs since they were busy clearing snow at the time.
"Although snowballs can't hurt large animals like lions, the behavior upset us nonetheless," Zhu said. "Our animals should be treated fairly. We hope our visitors will use some self-discipline and be nicer to them."
According to reports, a sole visitor threw the first snowball, inciting others to join. The lion and lioness huddled together, as seen in the photos, until the attack was over. In the end, the male lion let out a roar and starred down the visitors as they walked away, the Global Times notes.
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