Parasailing Donkey (PICTURE): Hilarious Video or Animal Cruelty?

Parasailing Donkey (PICTURES): Hilarious Video? Or Animal Cruelty?
Parasailing Donkey (YouTube)

MOSCOW (CBS/AP) Pin the sail on the Donkey?

Russian police are opening an animal cruelty probe into a weekend stunt on a beach in southern Russia in which a donkey parasailed high over the surf.

Amateur video footage showed men attaching parasail harnesses to the trembling donkey.

Russia Today, an English-language Kremlin news channel, reported that sunbathers were distressed at the sight of the flying donkey, which brayed in fear as it glided above the bay for half an hour.

Russia Today reported that the donkey was shell-shocked, but survived.

Reports said the donkey flight was a promotional stunt.

"They gave this donkey a parasailing ride in order to attract holidaymakers' attention to this sort of entertainment. The donkey brayed and the children cried, but no one was smart enough to inform the police about the incident," an official told Russia Today on Monday.

Employees of a leisure firm in the Krasnodar region village of Golubitskaya, on the Azov Sea, could face two years in prison if they are charged and convicted of animal cruelty.