Police and holidaymakers in Russia have been left shocked and horrified after a donkey was made to parasail on a Russian beach.
The donkey was attached to the parasail over the Sea of Azov in the in the Krasnodar region of Southern Russia last week.
The animal is reported to have screamed in fear as it took off into the sky.
A police enquiry has been launched into the incident. Those responsible face prosecution for animal cruelty.
Police say the parasail was part of an advertising campaign to attract holidaymakers to a private beach.
Irate beachgoers called the press as the distressed donkey flew into the sky.
“The donkey screamed and children cried,” police spokeswoman Larisa Tuchkova told AFP news agency. “No-one had the brains to call police.”
The animal landed in the water and was pulled to the shore.
“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?’” wrote a local newspaper.
“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,” the report added.
And animal charities are disgusted by the footage.
Kimberly Well from the Brooke said: “We are appalled at the cruel and irresponsible behaviour of the people behind this ‘advertising’ campaign in Russia.
“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.
“We urge tourists through our Responsible Tourism for Animals campaign to act and report to the relevant authorities if they see any animal in distress.”
A spokesman for the Donkey Sanctuary added: “The donkey was strapped to the parasail and catapulted into the sky and would have been severely distressed, fearful and traumatised.
“Donkeys are sensitive creatures and prone to suffer with a fatal stress related illness hyperlipaemia. We therefore have serious concerns over the present health of this donkey.
“This is the most senseless cruelty case we have ever seen in over 40 years of operation and we are truly shocked that anybody could treat a donkey in this way. The suffering endured by this poor animal is totally unacceptable and we hope that justice is brought to the individuals responsible for this mindless act of cruelty.”