Famed wildlife filmmaker David Attenborough would wince at some of the goings-on at Chinese zoos (in WiC166 we described an ‘animal Olympics’ in Shanghai). And he would definitely be shocked by a recently exposed practice at Beijing Wildlife Zoo. A journalist from the Beijing Evening News reports that staff at the zoo have been profiting from a peacock which will spread its tail to order. Tourists were told that the staff could get it to display its plumage “whenever we want”. If a family wanted a photograph with the bird’s feathers fully fanned out, it would cost Rmb20.
The reporter was suspicious that the zookeepers had been able to train a peacock to plume to order – and became even more so when he saw a member of staff disappear behind the bird, and heard a ‘pop’ sound.
On closer examination it became clear that an artificial, electric tail had been attached to the bird. Whenever a customer paid for a photo, a button was pressed to open the tail. After the snap was taken, it was deactivated. Further evidence that – for a price – anything can be faked in China…
© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.
Exclusively sponsored by HSBC.
The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.