Russian police are less than impressed with the instigators of a parasailing donkey stunt which saw an innocent beast of burden hauled into the skies to promote a private beach on the Sea of Azov.
According to AFP, several Russian businessmen decided it was a bright idea to use a flying donkey to advertise their stretch of sand, and the poor animal "screamed in fear as it circled over heads of holidaymakers sunbathing on a beach in the Cossack village of Golubitskaya in the Krasnodar region".
Horrified witnesses reacted predictably enough, whipping out cameras to capture the action and making urgent calls to a local newspaper. Regional police spokeswoman Larisa Tuchkova sighed: "The donkey was braying and children were crying but no one had the sense to report it to the police."
Said newspaper, Taman, reported last week: "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?'"
It added: "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."
Taman's editor, Elena Iovleva, described the incident as "stunning", even for a country where animals generally get a rough deal. Footage of the outrage hit national TV on Tuesday, and cops are now probing the matter.