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.
Offended “some?” No, sir, the damage from this kind of thing has vast percussions. We are supposed to be God’s stewards for these creatures, not exploit them for human entertainment. This adds to their already fragile state by encouraging the demand for poaching/kidnapping
— J.M. Hanson (@jmmhanson) May 14, 2018
End of Twitter post by @jmmhanson
However, some people have expressed support for the school, the prom and its organisers.
In FACT, as an alumni of CCHS, I AM OFFENDED THAT David Pugh Apologized, he should have told these PETA clones that it was NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, what a PRIVATE SCHOOL DOES AT THEIR PRIVATE EVENT! No laws were broken. IT IS CALLED FREEDOM…
— George (@cruiseingourmet) May 14, 2018
End of Twitter post by @cruiseingourmet
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