HAPCHEON, Oct. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — A municipal government in South Korea was recently engulfed in controversy over a horse carriage at a theme park that was misunderstood by some as being a case of animal abuse.
Recently, a photo of a horse-drawn carriage at a theme park was posted on a social media platform, and rapidly became a hot issue.
In the photo, a horse with its head down appeared to be pulling a heavy carriage packed many people at the Hapcheon Movie Theme Park run by the southern county of Hapcheon in South Gyeongsang Province.
Some social media users interpreted the photo as a scene of animal abuse, with dozens of comments asking park operators to stop such abuse posted on the county office’s website.
In reality, however, it turned out to be no more than simple misunderstanding due to a lack of understanding of how the carriage is operated.
The county office explained that it is not a horse-drawn carriage but an electric carriage, adding that the horse simply helps to steer the carriage.
In the past, the theme park operated a three or four-person horse-drawn carriage, but starting from 2014, it shifted to the electric carriage.
At present, a total of four horses are employed as ‘guides’ for the electric carriage on a rotation basis of two horses each day.
The county said that the electric carriage is busy on weekends when many people visit the theme park.
However, officials also said that it would be a stretch to refer to the service as animal abuse given that burden on the horses is limited since the carriage itself is powered.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)