A tourist sparked outrage after she was seen throwing a plastic bottle into a hippo’s MOUTH like it was a litter bin.
Footage shows the tourist stopping her car by the pond as the animal opened his mouth expecting food. She then tossed the blue plastic drinks bottle into its jaws at the Taman Safari, Indonesia on Monday (Mar 8).
The female hippo thought he was being given food by the woman so he tried to chew the bottle, which became lodged in his throat.
Cyntia Ayu, who was driving behind, was able to film the scene after she noticed a hand appearing to reach from the car window while enticing the hippo with the bottle.
The concerned tourist saw the bottle in the hippo’s mouth. Cyntia said she immediately reported the incident to park officials who rushed to the hippo to remove the trash.
Cyntia said: ‘I was not able to stop the woman, I tried to honk but she did not appear to have noticed me. I called the officers for help instead.’
Cyntia gave the footage to several animal rights groups who also criticised the behaviour.
Doni Herdaru from the charity Animal Defenders Indonesia said they had identified the woman.
He said that after having a conversation, the middle-aged woman apologised on video while covering her face with a mask.
She said: ‘I’m going to Taman Safari to apologise for what I did, and I promise not to do it again.’
Taman Safari spokesman Yulius Suprihardo said the hippo was fine but they still filed a complaint to the police against the woman in the video.
He said: ‘Right now the animal is fine because she vomited the litter. Had she swallowed it, the plastic cup could’ve killed the animal because plastic cups take hundreds of years to degrade.’
The police have yet to announce if there will be an investigation into the incident.