By BRENDAN MONTAGUE
Cruel olympics: Animal rights campaigners say the Chinese have an appalling record for animal rights protection
A bear struggles to retain its balance while gripping the two metal hoops, which look more like shackles than acrobatics equipment, as a wildlife park worker looks on and laughs.
This is just the latest shocking picture to emerge from the Animal Olympic Games which is being held in China, a country with a shameful animal rights record.
Chimpanzees are forced to play basketball and apparently lift huge weights, while a docile brown bear is dressed in a tutu while navigating a makeshift obstacle course in one of the strangest events ever to be staged.
The photographs are published for the first time today following outrage at earlier images which showed kangaroos being forced to take part in boxing matches with their supposed keepers and a monkey cycling while tied by the collar to the children's bike.
Other events at the 'games' include a sea lion high jump and a tug of war between an elephant and members of the audience, with more than 300 animals taking part.
The forth of the biannual events at the Shanghai Wildlife Park has attracted thousands of visitors, including rapturous school children, but has provoked outrage and serious concerns among animal rights groups the world over.
And the 'cruelty Olympics' are being held just before the human Olympics take place in Beijing. The Captive Animals' Protection Society will be writing to the Chinese Ambassador in London to complain about the event.
Craig Redmond, the UK based campaigns manager, said: "The abuse of the animals is clear. The bears, for example, will be very distressed at being forced to wear muzzles, chained and made to fight.
"The macaque money is chained and the kangaroo has a harness too. The things these animals are being made to do are not natural acts, and there will no doubt be cruelty involved in making them perform these tricks."
Shirley Galligan from the Born Free foundation added: "This is degrading for the animals, insulting to our intelligence and a disaster for any possible chance of increasing respect for the wild animals we share the world with. The Shanghai Animal Olympics is about domination and manipulation."
The protests from animal rights groups has been felt by the Chinese Government, which is keen to improve its reputation among the international community in terms of both animal and human rights. This year's Olympics could therefore be the last. Sickening 'Animal Olympics' forces kangaroos to box humans
A kangaroo boxes with a man at the Animal Olympics
Enlarge the image
An Australian kangaroo receives a fierce blow to the head by a man dressed in a clown suit in a shameful contest that will further fuel fears over China's barbaric attitude to animals.
The bizarre marsupial-versus-human bout happened during the so-called Animal Olympics in Shanghai.
Animal rights campaigners say the Chinese have an appalling poor record for animal rights protection and have no laws to protect them.
In the fight, the Australian kangaroo appears to reel backwards after receiving a right hook from its garishly attired opponent.
But the 'roo, which was wearing boxing gloves on its front paws, fought back, grappling with the clown who was forced back towards the ropes by its onslaught.
The kangaroo is just one of 300 'athletes' taking part in the annual event, now in its fourth year, at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park.
The event held in a large arena also involves an elephant carrying the Olympic torch and various animals including zebras and mountain goats put through a series of events such as hurdles and races.
Also pictured at the event yesterday were bears standing with boxing gloves on their paws during another distasteful performance.
In July the Daily Mail reported the babrbaric sport of horse fighting where cheering crowds took bets on which stallion would win a bloody battle. Live animals thrown to the tigers - for the amusement of the crowd
By NICK MCDERMOTT
Barbaric: A tiger attacks a defenceless cow, top, and a lion sinks its teeth into a goat.
These images of a ferocious tiger sinking its four inch teeth into defenceless prey are not digitally created scenes from an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster.
In an all too real display of its savage nature, the orange and black-striped killing machine is seen dispatching live farmyard animals placed in its enclosure by handlers while visitors look on at the feeding frenzy.
The brutal scenes, reminiscent of the bloodthirsty displays in Rome's colosseum where animals were pitted against one another for the crowd's amusement, are being played out at a wildlife park in China.
According to officials at Changchung Wildlife Park, staff are training the big cats to kill live prey in order to hone their hunting skills.
But animal rights campaigners questioned the park's motives and said the practice of feeding goats and calves to caged tigers raised serious welfare concerns.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: 'We would question the motives behind feeding live animals to tigers in a non-wild environment. It raises concerns over animal welfare on behalf of the livestock being fed to these tigers.
'Throwing live animals to caged tigers doesn't re-create anything that happens in the wild, if that is their aim.'
Tigers are one of the world's most endangered species, with only 6,000 remaining in the wild. In the past century alone, three sub-species of tiger has become extinct die to illegal hunting and a continued loss of habitat.
China, which has faced fierce criticism over its animal rights record, is under renewed pressure to improve protection after hosting the so-called Animal Olympics in Shanghai this week.
The event, in its fourth year, showcased a boxing bout between an Australian kangaroo and a man dressed in a clown suit. During the fight, the marsupial appears to reel backwards after receiving a right hook from its human opponent.
The kangaroo was just one of 300 'athletes' taking part in the annual event at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, which also featured an elephant carrying the Olympic torch and various animals - including zebras and mountain goats - put through a series of events such as hurdles and races.