Brown bear
© AFP / Abdullah Khan / Snow Leopard Foundation 1107
People on social media vented anger after a viral video showed a brown bear falling off a cliff while being stoned by a cheering crowd in India. Local villagers were reportedly behind the brutal act.

The heart-wrenching footage captured a brown bear trying to hold its balance on a rocky cliff while being hit by stones. Eventually, the animal falls down into a mountain stream as cheering voices are heard in the background.

The incident occurred in the Kargil district of the northern Jammu and Kashmir state. The bear climbed up the cliff striving to escape from the local residents who chased him all the way from the nearby village, local media report. As the bear was running away he got trapped in barbed wire but managed to free himself, a separate video suggests.

The gruesome footage quickly went viral and sparked outrage among social media users. "This is truly barbaric," one person wrote while another one dubbed the scene as "cruelty at its best."

DISTURBING VIDEO

Some people requested tightening the wildlife protection legislation.

As people's resentment continued to gain momentum, many users called to punish the perpetrators behind the cruel act.

Meanwhile, officials said they are scanning the videos to identify those involved in the animal's abuse. Authorities also launched a rescue operation to retrieve the bear whom they believe has not died but is likely to have suffered injuries.

Himalayan brown bears are listed by the WWF as the world's most endangered species and are protected from hunting and trade.