asiatic bear
File picture: A shocking video emerged online of an endangered Asiatic black bear being executed inside a locked cage in Myanmar. Reuters

A Chinese tourist, who shot dead an endangered Asiatic black bear which was locked in a cage, with a machine gun, has claimed he did it out of "curiosity".

The unnamed man was sightseeing in Myanmar's northeastern Wa State, which borders China, when he shot the unsuspecting Asiatic black bear.

The killing was recorded by another tourist in the same group who posted it online, where the footage was met with shock and anger by viewers who blasted the man for cruelty.

The Beijing News reported that the man claims that he gained permission to shoot the bear, as it had attacked humans and was going to be executed anyway.

In a statement filmed outside a police station, he also claimed that the weapon he used had been provided by the local government.

The video, which was widely shared on Chinese social media, showed the dead bear being skinned, with body parts seen scattered around the floor.

The footage shows the man screaming in a Chinese dialect to the bear: "I told you not to open your mouth. Do that again and I would make you surrender."

The animal was then shot once in the head and the bear fell to the ground as the man walks away from the dead bear holding a cigarette in the clip, posted online on 27 December.

Initial reports suggested that the animal was shot in Yunnan Province in China, but the forest police of Yunnan investigated the allegations and confirmed it was filmed in Myanmar.

The Beijing News reported that the man who said he saw an execution of an animal, was from eastern China's Shandong Province.

He allegedly said felt "curious" before asking to kill the black bear, also known as a moon bear, and had got permission before shooting the animal dead.

He said: "Video [of the shooting] was not allowed to be shared. I don't know which tourist sent the video onto the internet in China. I was condemned by the web users. I would like to clarify the matter."

To conclude his statement he then called on the public to protect animals.