This is not the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine but a real ski race that recently took place at Sanmenxia in the Henan Province, China. A turtle beat a rabbit in a ski competition open to any pets accompanied by their owner in central China. Among the competitors of this unusual sport menagerie event also included dogs, cats, a yellow duck and a rooster!
Organizers defended the event that attracted 40 pet owners as ‘harmless fun’ and added that they planned to stage it again next year and hopefully have even more bizarre pets. However, animal-rights campaigners are calling for a ban on a repeat of a pet ski competition in which winter sports enthusiasts in China are encouraged to bring along an animal in order to compete for prizes.
The competition was organized on a snowy slope and the owners could put their pet on skis or a sled, and guide them with a leash if necessary. “As the rabbit showed particular fondness for jumps, without following the instructions of his owner, he was overtaken by the Turtle”, reported China News who covered the event.
The Chinese middle class is increasingly attracted to skiing and other winter sports, causing the authorities to heavily invested in the construction of new ski resorts. Beijing is an official candidate city to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, forming a tandem with the city of Zhangjiakou, located in the northern province of Hebei.