Sunday, March 1, 2009

Save the Guilin pandas

The reason why we initially got lost in Seven-Star Park and ended up way on the other side from the Steles is because we were following the signs for the "Giant Panda Hotel" and "Zoo," which we thought sounded cool. But when we finally got there it was devastating. The "Zoo" is a menagerie, with sad-looking animals in filthy cages, standing miserably in their own mess. We smelled the "Zoo" before we saw it. I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of the deer pen it was so sad.

The pandas were confusing, though. There was an outdoor area that was presumably for them, but when we visited the two pandas were locked in separate prison cells. I don't know if there's a reason why they have to be enclosed separately and not allowed outside for some portion of the day, but to our uninformed eyes it looked like animal cruelty. The two pandas were dirty (perhaps that's normal?) and seemed lethargic and apathetic. One was asleep in his cell but the other one was gorging himself on carrots in a very sad way.

Does anyone know if there's a good reason for them to be treated like this?

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