A zoo in Thailand has been slammed for dressing up a chimpanzee and employing him to spray disinfectant from a bicycle.
Authorities in the south-east Asian country have demanded staff at Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo in Samut Prakan Province cease the activity immediately after the stunt provoked a backlash.
Concern was raised last week when video footage from the zoo showed a six-year-old him dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and wearing a facemask cycling around with a canister of disinfectant.
The antibacterial liquid sprayed behind the bicycle while the ape cycled around the grounds, while he was also handed a hose to spray down fences.
Environment minister Varawuth Silpa-archa attended the zoo on Tuesday to order the owner to stop the activity citing concerns for the wellbeing of the primate.
The zoo has been a hotbed of controversy in recent years with complaints and reports of animal mistreatment rife.
In 2018, the zoo drew heavy criticism when a pair of painfully thin elephants were seen being made to perform to crowds.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation intervened to demand the animals be allowed to rest until their health was restored.
PETA has slammed the zoo in the past for its cruelty to elephants, sharing a video of the beasts bleeding while tethered to short chains to restrict their movement.
The organisation called for a global boycott of the animal facility.
PETA Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker said in 2019: “PETA is calling on travellers around the world to stay away from any facility that sentences wild animals to a miserable life of violence and deprivation.”
The zoo has also caused concern over the welfare of a horse in 2018 which appeared malnourished.
The facility also houses tigers and crocodiles among the wildlife kept in cages for tourists and locals to see.