• Fri
  • Oct 31, 2014
  • Updated: 8:15pm
NewsHong Kong

Call it animal instinct, Hong Kong schoolchildren want a big zoo

More than 90pc of pupils want to get closer to wildlife in the city, study finds

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 April, 2014, 2:36pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 April, 2014, 7:47am

Children in Hong Kong say they want a "real zoo" in the city.

While this may not be a great revelation, a new study has confirmed that 90 per cent of primary school pupils yearn for an affordable, large-scale zoo.

"The entrance fee at Ocean Park has been rising, and most families find it hard to afford more than one visit a year," lawmaker Bill Tang Ka-piu, of the Federation of Trade Unions, said.

The FTU, which polled 3,300 children from 40 primary schools between February and this month, found that 92 per cent of them wanted a large zoo here. About 43 per cent wanted free entry, and 35 per cent said the fee should not exceed HK$60.

Around 12 per cent had never been to Ocean Park. The theme park, which charges HK$160 per child and HK$320 per adult, is the closest thing in Hong Kong to a large-scale zoo.

Entry is free for the Zoological and Botanical Gardens on the northern slope of Victoria Peak, but it houses only a small variety of monkeys, birds and tortoises.

Tang said Ocean Park's high fees and focus on tourism had alienated local families, depriving Hong Kong children of the chance to appreciate and learn about the animals in the park.

He suggested that the government use restored landfill sites, which are not suitable for housing, to build a zoo. There were many such sites in Tseung Kwan O, Plover Cove, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, and they were ideal for a zoo, which would need a large, flat piece of land, he said.

The sites are now used for recreational activities including a golf course and a pet park.

Tang also suggested that if the city did have a large-scale zoo, any entrance fee should not exceed HK$30. Zoos in Guangzhou, Taiwan and Japan charged fees around this rate, he said.

The lawmaker said he would arrange to meet the Home Affairs Bureau in the coming two months to discuss the issue and he hoped local families would voice their support so that the government would take the suggestion seriously.

He added that he would not expect a zoo in Hong Kong to bring more mainland tourists because they would be more drawn to Ocean Park - and they already had zoos in their own cities.

"As it is in Hong Kong, even rich families cannot see real animals without having to endure the crowds," Tang said. "It is high time for us to build a big zoo for our children."



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This article is now closed to comments

Don't allow it! They don't treat people well here so why think a zoo would be well run?
A Singapore style zoo would be great for Hong Kong, with a strong emphasis on education, and very large enclosures/areas for the wildlife. I also agree with the idea of funding a waterpark. But why wouldn't the mainland tourists want to go to a Hong Kong zoo and waterpark? I think they would make up 80% of the visitors. Nothing wrong with that although maybe 30% of the visitor 'places' should be reserved for locals on certain days, or we will have to queue forever!
why do you want to call it "Asia's world city" ? when you have no Arts hub, no sports venues, no parks and recreation ?? better call yourself "business city" . no wonder why they lack artistic and creative side !
No no no: business city for rich people who like money laundering banks and criminal triad types
We don't need more animals in cages. If pupils are being educated that it's okay to put animals in cages then there is something terribly wrong with this city's education system.
We have cage cities for people here so the animals will have more space.
While you're about it please add a couple of waterpark, more kid's adventure parks with climbing thingys for them to swing about like monkeys, a dozen theatres, half a dozen museums and salt beef and potato latkes shops on every street corner.
I am somewhat appalled to read this article and do wonder whether it really represents the truth.
I do believe there are far more pressing situations to be dealt with in HK. Technological advances have made this practise of holding animals captive for your abusement wholly unnecessary. Lawmaker Bill Tang Ka-piu, should perhaps look into the animal problems we already have in Hong Kong, and realise that we should not kidnap any animal and cause it such stress 'to learn about it.' The only time any animal should be behind bars is if it has been rescued.
Let's start off with the AFCD, make a sanctuary for the poor animals caught and teach our kids that no animal deserves a life of confinement....or death.
Rescue and rehab is where it's at. Can we please try and set an example to our neighbouring cities. Animals deserve love and respect. Not cages.
Hong Kong should have a zoo and a bird park too.
My kids and I absolutely loved Singapore Zoo, would be a great zoo to model after.


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