Zookeeper wanted: good animal skills; previous Marxist knowledge an advantage

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 3:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 February, 2013, 10:09am

Some animals are more equal than others – and a Guangzhou zoo is adamant that all their recruits comprehend.

The Yangcheng Evening News recently stumbled upon Guangzhou Zoo’s entrance exam and found a section of it aimed at evaluating applicants’ “mastery” of Marxist-Leninist thought.

This means the 15 zookeepers being recruited at the government-run zoo need to be proficient at preparing animal feed, inspecting manure as well as understanding the theories of labour value and human nature.

According to the article, the exam includes an interview and a written exam which tests applicants on “cultural and historical knowledge, parks and zoo-related knowledge and the philosophy and principles of Marxism”. It was commissioned by Guangzhou’s Municipal Bureau of Human Resources.

The bizarre revelation quickly became the butt of internet jokes across Chinese social media. “We have already implemented [Marxist] theory and raised tens of thousands of pigs!” wrote one blogger on Sina Weibo.

“That’s great, the zookeepers can go on to find jobs in the civil service, Marxism teaches one how to rule over beasts,” another said.

Another made reference to George Orwell’s famous 1945 political allegory Animal Farm saying: “They should be careful not to give the animals any rebellious ideas”.

On Twitter, one user pointed out: "Marxist zookeepers would be incapable of doing the job; cages and other manifestations of capitalist oppression would be outlawed".

Asked why a zookeeper would need to be tested on Marxism, zoo officials told reporters it was “not their decision”.