Shengya Ocean World in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China, apologized after a video clip showing one of its trainers putting lipstick on a beluga whale to make it look “prettier” went viral on Chinese social media.
The 10-second clip first made rounds in China’s popular short video sharing platform Douyin with the caption that reads “very pretty,” according to Shanghaiist. A female trainer can be seen laughing as she puts lipstick on the animal’s mouth.
After massive outrage erupted online, the Shengya Ocean World immediately posted a statement expressing its “sincere apologies” and admitting that the incident indeed happened inside the aquarium theme park.
However, the park tried to clarify that the person who made the now-deleted post and account on Douyin was not the same person who put lipstick on the animal. Shengya Ocean World continued to note that the clip was first taken in 2017 and that the trainer in the video had already left the park last month.
Animal rights groups such as PETA’s Asia branch have called for an investigation into the video.
Featured Image via YouTube / 新京报