A new zoo in southern China invited anger and jokes on local social media platforms after visitors realised that the penguins at the facility were inflated toys. Social media users said the zoo’s “rare” animals were mostly domestic livestock.
The Guishan Zoo, the first in Yulin city of Guangxi province, opened on November 25. It had advertised itself as a place where visitors could see rare animals and children could learn more about nature and wildlife, the South China Morning Post reported. A “special display” was promised on weekends, through posters that showed pictures of penguins, an ostrich and peacocks.
However, WeChat users criticised the zoo with messages including “You call these zoo animals?” and “I am still surprised by the zoo”. The zoo’s offerings, as it turned out, included live turtles, geese, roosters and some chickens, as well as artificial penguins inside a pool with a warning outside: “Penguins bite, do not touch!”
While some users on social media website Weibo complained that they had been duped, others said they wanted to visit the zoo to see it for themselves, a report on social media trends website What’s on Weibo said.
The zoo has reportedly been closed temporarily.