napchat footage of a group of Chinese-speaking tourists toying with a swan and wrangling it by the neck in a Swiss park went viral on Chinese social media Tuesday.
The video shows two women, one in plaid, baiting the bird with a paper napkin, and the other in a blue jacket, playing with her phone, then walking out of the swan’s field of view.
As the swan lunges for the napkin, the woman in the blue jacket grabs the bird by the neck, trying to remove the paper from its bill.
Chinese media reported that she was motivated by a missed photo opportunity. Just after the swan snatches the napkin, someone off-camera can be heard saying in Mandarin, “Wait, I didn’t get the shot.”
Nearby the group, a sign with an image of a swan on it reads, in English, “Please don’t feed us.”
The predominant reaction among netizens was disgust. Many resented the way it represented Chinese tourists abroad.
“This type of person should be put on a blacklist, forbidden from leaving the country or not allowed back,” one commented on the video posted by Sina News. “Totally shameless.”
Some defended the group, however, speculating that their intentions were innocent and that they were “quite obviously” trying to prevent the swan from swallowing the paper.
Others accused Swiss media of seizing on the video to cast Chinese tourists in a negative light.
[Images via Sina News]