Visitors at to a zoo in southern China expected to enjoy a collection of exotic animals. But much to their dismay, all they experienced was a single tortoise, some pretty common livestock such as roosters and geese and a single turtle sitting in a tank with good luck money around it.
But it was the penguin exhibit that won the most cringe-worthy award out of all the enclosures, because it had no penguins at all.
Yes, you read that right — instead of keeping penguins, the Guishan zoo kept inflatable plastic penguins in the enclosure.
The zoo misled people with its advertisement, promoting itself as place where visitors could see rare animals and learn more about wildlife. It also earlier put up banners featuring penguins, saying that there would be a "special display" at the zoo.
Well yes, the inflatable, unreal penguins are technically special, just the wrong kind of special.
Naturally, several people found this situation funny and posted about it on the Chinese social media site Weibo. Local news sites also shared photos from inside the zoo.
"You forgot the other animals like mosquitoes, ants, flies and mice that are displayed at the zoo," said one user on Weibo.
"This zoo takes its wildlife protection seriously. The best way to protect the animals is not to have them in a zoo," said another user.
"Boss! Our exhibit is leaking!" another joked.
"I can't stop laughing. This is obviously deceiving the consumer. Don't tell me the management were sleeping. This is making fun of our intelligence," commented another user.
An unnamed owner told the Nanguo Morning Post that the exhibit was set up by a contractor, and she didn’t know inflatable animals were brought in the vicinity, until they were visible on the on display.
The zoo has since closed, but this isn’t for first time a Chinese zoo to find itself in such a controversy. In 2013, Henan zoo claimed to feature an African lion only to dishearten viewers with a Tibetan mastiff dog.
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