Muscat: A video of a camel with its legs tied being forcibly thrown out of a braking pickup truck is going viral across Oman, prompting warnings from animal welfare groups to respect animals.
The short clip, apparently shot in Oman, shows a pickup truck with a camel on the flatbed in rear, reversing along a beach as someone films it. The driver of the truck brakes suddenly, and the camel is flung from the rear of the truck into the sand. It cannot save itself as its legs are tied with rope, a common practice in Oman to ensure camels cannot wander too far from where their owner puts them.
The camel flies off the back of the truck and hits the earth with a bump, so forcefully that the animal cannot prevent its head from slamming into the sand. The video has been shared widely on social media sites across Oman. One resident said: "It looks like an Omani licence plate but it is hard to see the actual number. I wish I could, I would report them for cruelty.
"This is just so cruel. People should respect all animals, especially camels, which have such a special place in the hearts of Omanis."
Jaison Mathai is the founder of animal welfare group Tiger by the Tail, which looks after homeless and abandoned animals on Oman's streets.
"This was not an accident, but instead an incident of someone reversing the vehicle too quickly," he revealed. "Unfortunately, it looks like this was done on purpose, and it is very sad to see that there are some people who would do such things. Firstly, the tailgate of the pickup truck was left open, and the animal's legs were tied so it could not save itself. This is a very sad situation.
"It is very important for us that we treat animals just as we would treat each other," added Mathai. "As humans, we need to conduct ourselves in a manner that shows as an example of humanity to others. If required, we are willing to contribute towards the wellbeing of this animal.
"Camels are animals that like to roam and cannot stay in the barn for a long time, so we release them from the barns in the morning to walk in pastures, and in the evening they come back," said Said Al Malki, a camel owner and rearer in Oman.
"We move the camel by parking the vehicle in a specific place near the hill, and the camel comes to the vehicle, and then we put the camel inside the car by linking of its feet for its safety," he added.
"This is so that it does not fall during the journey. Sometimes we face difficulty to transfer the camels, especially if the camel is new and not used to riding in the vehicle, so we put two camels together to teach them how to behave in the vehicle and be comfortable."
Al Malki added that it was very important to care for Oman's camels.
"We should care about the camels that we have because these are an authentic breed, and we've inherited it from our ancestors," he added.