Known for its vast array of culinary conquests, Guangzhou has been trying to change its image from a city known for animal consumption to a metropolis of wildlife conservation. It is setting up animal preserves that teach the public about the beauty of nature. The Xiangjiang Wild Animals World and Chimelong Night Zoo are two examples of how Guangzhou citizens are reaching out to nature in an effort to enjoy its beauty rather than put it on the dinner plate. So far, these parks in the Panyu suburb have enjoyed a steady stream of visitors both young and old. A crocodile park has also been set up in the city. Unfortunately, its contents could very well leave visitors and animal rights groups wondering if it is meant to protect wildlife or whet the appetite for the game that lies within. The Guangzhou Crocodile Park is an 800-hectare theme park that is home to more than 10,000 of the reptiles. It was established by a local business group, which is involved in developing real estate, a golf course and other entertainment venues. It has been breeding crocodiles since 1997, and calls the new park the 'largest crocodile park in the world'. On first impression, the park seems to promote conservation. It has a labyrinth of waterways which are breeding grounds for the crocs, and the developers say they have bred 10 different breeds of crocodiles since 1997. The park is divided into six themed areas. One is devoted to scientific education, in which displays explain each stage in the life cycle of the crocodile. The agrobiological area and the reptile exhibition centre focus on a range of things from giant pumpkins and miniature melons to lizards and tortoises. On closer look, however, the crocodile centre is alarming. It focuses mainly on circus-like performances by the reptiles, namely one 40-year old, six-metre long male croc known affectionately as 'the crocodile king'. The animals do balancing acts and are dressed up in funny outfits. The slaughter of crocodiles and their use in the leather goods industry is the focus of an exhibition hall. Video clips show animals being killed and turned into purses and shoes. The park is lauded as an education centre and nature preserve, but such exhibits seem to mock rather than protect the animals. Of course, this has not kept the visitors away: crowds come every day. The park seems to be another entertainment scheme from the businessmen to attract tourists and make quick cash, rather than to educate visitors about the balance of nature and the appreciation of wildlife in its natural habitat.