Visitors to Chinese zoo feel deflated after discovering new penguin display consists of blow-up toys

Attraction that promised a ‘special display’ at weekends leaves visitors feeling flat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 3:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 3:09pm

Visitors to a zoo in southern China lured by the promise of seeing its new penguins could be forgiven for feeling let down after they were greeted with inflated toy penguins and various species of domestic livestock.

Locals rushed to Guishan Zoo, the first zoo in Yulin in Guangxi province last weekend, only to find dozens of inflated penguins as well as live turtles, geese and roosters, Modern Express reported.

The newly opened zoo advertised itself as a place where visitors could see rare animals and children would be able to learn more about wildlife. Tickets to the attraction cost 15 yuan (US$2.25).

It also claimed to host educational programmes about nature and wild animals.

Posters promoting the attraction also promised a “special display” at weekends on a poster that featured images of penguins, an ostrich and peacocks.

A street vendor near the attraction told Nanguo Morning Post that there had been some more exotic animals on display, including a peacock and monkeys, but the only penguins anyone reported seeing were artificial.

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Visitors were left feeling distinctly unimpressed and took to social media to voice their disappointment. One posted on WeChat: “You call these zoo animals?”

Another said that even though they had been warned what to expect “I am still surprised by the zoo”.

Photos of the eccentric zoo went viral on Chinese social media.

“You would better off going to the street market to see those animals. It is free by the way,” one Weibo user wrote.

“I find it hilarious but people who actually bought the tickets might be angry,” another said.

The zoo had since been closed.

The unnamed owner told the Nanguo Morning Post it had been set up by a contractor and she did not know there would be inflatable animals until the day they went on display.

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The Yulin zoo was not the first establishment to be criticised for its mundane offerings.

Another zoo in the eastern province of Jiangsu also put inflated penguins on display rather than the real thing, while a “wild” zoo in central China’s Anhui province was populated by common domestic animals including poodles and pet pigs.