In 1827, some people built a pirate ship, filled it with animals and let it fall down the Niagara Falls
This is a case of animal cruelty turned into a PR stunt. General Parkhurst Whitney owned the American Eagle Hotel in the Niagara falls area. In 1827, he came up with a scheme to bring tourists to the area. A retired ship called "The Michigan" was purchased and decorated as a pirate ship, even using dummies that looked like pirates.
Then, they filled the ship with 'ferocious animals,' including buffalo, two small bears, two raccoons, a dog and a goose. People were even able to go in and check the animals out. It's estimated that between 10,000 and 30,000 came to see the ship. The animals were tied and sent floating to their death on the falls.
The goose and bears managed to survive the fall and swam to safety. Some say that the bears were shot soon after. Nevertheless, this is one of the most bizarre cases of animal cruelty we're heard of