The Lede of the Month

Taman News/AFPLet’s call this one the lede of the month. Via Tom Parfitt, for The Guardian:

Police in southern Russia have launched an animal cruelty investigation after a tour operator forced a donkey to parasail over the sea.

It should be noted that nothing about the story isn’t hilarious in that morbid way of things:

Video footage showed the beast being catapulted into the air after a group of men on a beach at Golubitskaya, on the Sea of Azoz, strapped it into a harness.

The donkey was then towed by a boat for half an hour, initially flailing its legs and then hanging forlornly under a multi-coloured parachute at least 30 metres above the surf.

Stunned beachgoers said the animal had brayed in fear as it whistled through the air, causing children to burst into tears. Others calmly filmed the event on their mobile phones.

“This is a little town and we all know that donkey well,” one local woman told reporters. “He worked for several years on the beach, being photographed with tourists. As soon as his ordeal was over, a lot of the people on the beach ran forward to soothe him.” Witnesses say the animal was hauled through the sea and on to the sand as it landed.

Setting aside the bit about the catapult, we might be seeing one of the strangest sentences in all journalism for the year: “Stunned beachgoers said the animal had brayed in fear as it whistled through the air, causing children to burst into tears.

I mean, this is horrible, so why can’t I stop laughing? I’m a monster … a monster!

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