A school has been criticised after a live caged tiger was unveiled to Florida students at their prom.
Christopher Columbus High School in Miami hosted its jungle-themed prom at a Hilton hotel on Friday.
Concerns for the tiger’s welfare have been growing on social media, with thousands of people taking to Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.
The school principal has apologised for causing offence, saying he has learned from the experience.
One student’s sister, Mari-Cris Castellanos, posted a video on Facebook of the caged tiger at the event.
Ms Castellanos expressed her concern for the welfare of the tiger in her Facebook post.
“How shameful for Christopher Columbus High school showing its students on prom night who is the ‘king of the jungle’.
“This poor tiger was used as an exotic amusement for the mindless teenagers who were present,” said Ms Castellanos.
She asked: “Why does CCHS allow such animal cruelty?”
In a statement posted on the Catholic high school’s website, principal David Pugh said: “Some individuals have expressed their sentiments about the use of animals as part of a performance at prom.
“We recognise this decision has offended some and for that we apologise”, he said.
Mr Pugh added: “We all have learned a great deal from this experience.”
Ms Castellano also posted a video showing fire-breathers dancing in immediate proximity to the tiger.
More than 1,000 people have posted on Twitter about the event, most voicing concern over the welfare of the tiger.
However, some people have expressed support for the school, the prom and its organisers.
The caged tiger is also a popular subject on Reddit.
One user, kummybears, said: “This is so Miami. Was it in a gold cage surrounded by palm fronds?”
Another, Bananarama8o, added: “Had to laugh after I thought about this. Our prom’s most daring special effect was… using dry ice to create smoke wafting out of a volcano.”
By Victoria Park, BBC UGC & Social News