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BREAKING: Shocking footage of a tiger being hit and pulled by handlers at Dreamworld

Warning: disturbing content ahead.
Tiger handling at Dreamworld

A tourist visiting Dreamworld on the Gold Coast has uploaded a worrying video to Instagram of two handlers appearing to mistreat one of the theme park’s tigers.

The video shows what appears to be one of the tigers’ handlers pulling the tail of one of the tigers, before another handler hit the tiger in the head with their hand.

The tiger doesn’t seem to respond, lying on the grass as the handler stands over it.

Dreamworld have defended the actions in a statement shared with 9 News, saying:

“The handler’s actions to refocus Akasha were explained to guests immediately after the tigers were separated.”

“The tigers in this video were showing antagonistic behaviour and needed separating before they had an opportunity to hurt each other.”

“Open hand taps to the facial area is the safest way to refocus tigers who are challenging each other and this is consistent with the way in which tigers communicate with each other in similar situations.”

“Akasha and Kai are both 100+kg animals and the intervention of our handlers prevented a situation that may have escalated.”

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The post, which, as reported by 9News, was uploaded to Instagram by a bystander at Dreamworld nine hours ago, has already been met with a horde of comments deploring the actions of the handlers.

“So disrespectful,” one person wrote. Another said: “Makes you wonder what else goes on there when no-one is watching. Appalling behaviour.”

The comments slamming the handlers continued.

“This makes me sick.”

“That’s abuse!”

“So wrong.”

“Disgusting.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbPGuYSFXpn/?taken-by=xylatu

PETA PR officer Laura Weyman-Jones contacted Now To Love regarding the video, stating:

“Pulling a tiger by the tail and punching them in the head is appalling, unjustifiable cruelty,” she says.

“Tigers are meant to roam far and wide, not to spend their lives in enclosures being gawked at by strangers and bullied by staff. Captivity is certainly no dream world for tigers.”

“PETA is calling for an immediate, thorough investigation into this video and for appropriate legal action to be taken against the people in this video.”

This comes a little over a year since Now To Love reported that four people were killed on the Thunder River Rapids ride at the Gold Coast theme park.

Tragically, two of the four victims were thrown off the ride when it malfunctioned while the other two were trapped inside the ride.

“Out of respect for the memories … the ride will be permanently decommissioned,” the then-CEO of Dreamworld’s parent company, Advent Leisure, Deborah Thomas, said.

“The closure of the ride is the only respectful and appropriate course of action.”

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