First it was plastic penguins. Now a ‘live show’ of fake butterflies is causing a flap in China

Visitors turn up to park expecting a riot of living colour only to find plastic that’s less than fantastic

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2017, 2:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 December, 2017, 4:51pm

Tourism officials in southern China are investigating why a company promoting a live butterfly show offered visitors a display of plastic replicas of the insects instead.

The incident in Guangxi comes just weeks after a zoo in the same autonomous region put inflated toy penguins on show instead of the wildlife it had promised.

The two-day butterfly exhibition in Xiaodubai Park in Mashan county attracted about 3,000 visitors over December 9 and 10. The show was advertised as a live butterfly exhibition on social media platforms, with tickets priced at 15 yuan (US$2.25) each, the website Gxnews.com.cn reported. But all visitors found were enormous, vividly coloured plastic butterflies mounted on sticks and randomly stuck into the ground.

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A company called Yulin Exhibition had rented a 6,000 sq ft area within the park for 2,500 yuan (US$377), the report said, adding that the company is not in the municipal government’s business registration database.

Pan Yaokang, chairman of Xiaodubai Travel, which runs the private park, said the company had no idea the butterflies would be fake.

The show and the advertisements had been taken down by Sunday evening, local newspaper Modern Daily Life reported.

Tourism officials in Mashan county said the case was under investigation.

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The incident follows a recent scam in Yulin where visitors to Guishan Zoo were promised wildlife but instead found inflated toy penguins and an assortment of live geese, roosters and turtles. Yulin Exhibition stated it had nothing to do with the zoo incident, the newspaper reported.