When the video of some Siberian Tigers taking down a flying drone first found its way online, it immediately found a captive audience and soon enough went viral.
However, what most viewers probably didn’t realise at the time was that that there was a dark edge to the clip which is only just becoming apparent now.
The widely shared clip sees a group of Siberian Tigers take down a flying drone camera with consummate ease but science journalist John R. Platt was the first to notice something was amiss.
Taking to Twitter he revealed that the footage was clearler from a Tiger farm and offered up a pretty startling statistic.
“Reminder: China has an estimated *7* wild tigers left. Many more in this video = obviously a tiger farm. They’ll be turned into bone & wine,” he tweeted.
Reminder: China has an estimated *7* wild tigers left. Many more in this video = obviously a tiger farm. They'll be turned into bone & wine https://t.co/7hxmkSDei2
— John R Platt (@johnrplatt) February 23, 2017
Mashable then went one step further, with reporter Johnny Lieu revealing the suspected location of the park to be in China’s Heilongjiang Province.
That’s where Harbin Siberian Tiger Park, one of the two bigger tiger-breeding facilities in the Far East, is based and where a lot of dodgy clandestine things go on.
The reality behind the footage may make you think twice before sharing a similar clip again, with Platt going one step further to stress that.
Returning to the topic on Twitter he warned that the “Chinese media often share cute tiger videos.”
‘Why?’ You might ask. Well, according to Platt the answer is simple yet undeniably grim.
“They’re all propaganda to hide the reality of tiger farms,” he said.
Last word on tiger-drone video: Chinese media often share cute tiger videos. They're all propaganda to hide the reality of tiger farms.
— John R Platt (@johnrplatt) February 24, 2017
Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.