Planet China

Animal instinct

Back in issue 202 WiC reported on the controversy surrounding the Jibaozhai Museum in Hebei (aka the ‘bullshit museum’). The issue was that many of its so-called ancient relics turned out to be fakes – a Qing Dynasty ceramic vase, for example, depicted a modern cartoon. Now, it is the turn of an implausible zoo to rouse attention. This time the problem is in the city of Luohe, where according to the Dahe Daily a number of the exhibited animals are not what they purport to be. This emerged when the Liu family took their son to the zoo intent on teaching him the noises that animals make. However, when the mother explained that a lion roars, the son said that this particular lion didn’t: it barked like a dog. And it turns out you can’t fool a 6 year-old about animal sounds. He was right: inside the ‘African Lion’ enclosure was a Tibetan mastiff. That wasn’t all: foxes were standing in for leopards and other dogs were being passed off as wolves. The zoo in Henan province, which is run by a private company, has given no explanation for the switched exhibits, but the newspaper was told by one zookeeper that the lion had been sent off for breeding.

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