The "violent behavior" of tourists has reportedly led to the death of two peacocks at a popular zoo.
The South China Morning Post reports that the animals died of shock after visitors roughly picked them up to take selfies at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in southwest China. Park guests also allegedly plucked out some of their vibrant feathers as keepsakes.
Photos of people handling the beautiful creatures surfaced on the popular Chinese blogging site, Weibo, after another zoo visitor shared them online. The snaps immediately sparked outrage around the world.
Mashable reports that the zoo confirmed the sad incident took place on February 12th, but news of the animals' death didn't go viral until recently. A spokesperson said that an event like this has never occurred before at the facility, and workers had warned people several times not to touch the exotic birds.
Guests reportedly used food to lure the typically timid creatures closer to them. So far, no charges have been filed but the zoo is still investigating the incident.
The heartbreaking news seems to be part of a disturbing trend -- as just days ago a baby Franciscan dolphin was passed around for photographs by beachgoers in Santa Teresita, Argentina. The tiny, rare animal was abandoned on the beach and died of dehydration as a result.