Inflatable Penguins Invade Chinese Zoo

Visitors to the Guishan zoo thought they were going to see rare animals this week. Instead, they got inflatable penguins.

You read that right. Social media is lighting up with photos of inflatable penguins among exhibits of  geese, roosters and a tortoise in a tank sprinkled by money. And while the fake Happy Feet raised some smiles and a couple of laughs, some paying customers were not too happy.

The stunt got a mixed reaction on the popular social media site Sina Weibo. One user posted, “I can’t stop laughing. This is obviously deceiving the consumer. Don’t tell me the management were sleeping. This is making fun of our intelligence.” Another user posted it’s an “insult to our IQ.”

But the subject of animals is not always a laughing matter in China, as the country is known for having a dismal animal-rights record. And despite its title of having among the most censored media in the country, animal abuse is very well documented. Back In June 2017, video clips of zoo investors feeding a live donkey to tigers at a location in Changzhou city went viral on Chinese social media.

Footage of a bloodied endangered whale being dragged along the road by a pickup truck through the streets of China’s Xiapu County also went viral.

But on the bright side, China’s social media is also filled with stories like a cop’s retirement home for dogs. A video of that has been viewed millions of times.

As for the inflatable penguins, the odd attraction can be found in Yulin, Guangxi province.

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.