Video: Donkeys Painted Like Zebras for Safari-Themed Wedding—'Stupidity that Borders on Illegality'

Wildlife authorities in Spain are facing calls to investigate after an animal rights activist raised concerns about two donkeys that were painted to look like zebras.

A complaint was filed with the country's Service of Protection of Nature (known as Seprona) after pictures and videos were uploaded to social media on Monday showing the animals outside a beach bar in Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, which is a port city in the Andalucia region.

According to local newspaper Andalucia Informacion, the donkeys had been painted with black and white stripes for a wedding that was taking place at the bar. It reported they arrived on Saturday morning and remained on show during the day without shade from the sun.

The intention may have been to create the feeling of an "African savannah," the outlet added, noting the bar, called Ámbar, is only available to book for special events or ceremonies.

Animals rights groups in Spain criticized the animal painting after posts about the two donkeys emerged on social media, first made by a man called Ángel Tomás Herrera Peláez.

Herrera accused the bar's owners of violating local law in Andalucía, which forbids using any animals at parties or shows if they are subjected to suffering or unnatural treatment. "What we must do is have care, love and respect all animals," he wrote online earlier this week.

One 30-second video has racked up thousands of views since being uploaded, sparking interest from politicians and campaigners. Under the footage, Herrera complained that donkeys should not be used as a tourist attraction because they are increasingly endangered in the country.

A Cadiz-based rights group known as Ecologists in Action described the incident as "a frivolity and stupidity that borders on illegality," according to local media outlet La Voz de Cadiz.

Local politician Daniel Sánchez Román, responsible for agriculture, livestock and fisheries, told newspaper Diario de Cádiz that the makeup used on the donkeys was "suitable for children" and played down abuse allegations, stressing the paint had been "easily erased." He claimed that veterinarians inspected the site and noted the animals were "perfectly clean and healthy."

The politician claimed the donkeys were obtained under the condition that no one would ride on their backs. He said the decision to paint them was "far from animal abuse." They were hired from a business called Los Burros de Juanino, which specializes in tourism such as walking and riding routes.

Sánchez Román has identified the owner of the donkeys only as Juanino, and stressed he would "never allow the slightest damage to any of his animals." The beach bar has not yet commented.

Donkeys painted like zebras
Posts about the two donkeys emerged on social media, first made by a man called Ángel Tomás Herrera Peláez. The painting was criticized by animal rights groups. Angel Tomás Herrera Peláez/Facebook
Video: Donkeys Painted Like Zebras for Safari-Themed Wedding—'Stupidity that Borders on Illegality' | News