Circus bears
A monkey was mauled by a bear after two monkeys and a black bear were forced to ride bicycles around a track in front of a large crowd.

Graphic footage of a bear mauling a monkey as a disturbing circus stunt goes wrong has provoked online outrage.

In the 90-second clip, originally posted on shock media site, two monkeys and a black bear are seen being forced to race bicycles around a track as part of a circus act.

The crowd can be heard cheering and laughing as staff push the animals to perform.

However, the race soon turns into a bloodbath after the primates complete two laps of the track and their bicycles collide. The bear suddenly attacks a monkey as it lies stuck under the bicycle.

Staff can be seen desperately trying to force the bear off the small monkey as it grips it in its mouth.

Finally, three workers appear to free the monkey by hitting the bear with sticks. It does not look like the monkey survives.

The incident is believed to have taken place at the annual 'Wild Animal Olympics' at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park in China. It is not known when it was filmed.

The video, which has gone viral, has provoked a strong response from the online community.

"China is a sick country decades behind the Western world," said one observer. "This is not what you use animals for."

Another wrote: "Is this a joke? This cannot be legal... to train bears to ride bikes wtff humans are messed up."

China Tour Online's website claims that the park "offers animal performances, showing the charm and skill of the animals and their gift in performing" but animal rights campaigners said that animal were victims of cruelty and abuse.

The AAF (Animals Asia Foundation) will write to the mayor of Shanghai calling for an end to such circus performances.

"As a gesture of our concern and in an attempt to provide a solution for at least one of the animals, we are offering a permanent home at our Moon Bear Rescue Sanctuary in Chengdu, " the foundation said.