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Chinese Zoo Under Fire for Misleading Visitors with Dyed ‘Panda Dogs’

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A zoo in China has sparked controversy for showcasing dogs dyed to resemble pandas, attracting criticism for misleading visitors. Taizhou Zoo in Jiangsu displayed two ‘panda dogs’ painted black and white, drawing attention on social media platforms like Weibo. Despite claims that the Chow Chows were clearly labeled as such, concerns were raised about animal welfare and honesty in advertising.

The zoo officials explained that the unique exhibit was an attempt to offer a new experience to guests, citing the absence of real pandas at the facility. While they maintained that the dogs were unharmed by the dyeing process, public opinion questioned the ethics of using animals in this manner. Similar incidents in Zhejiang and Henan in the past have fueled the debate on such practices in Chinese zoos.

Lawyers weighed in on the situation, highlighting the potential disappointment felt by visitors upon realizing the true nature of the exhibit. The zoo’s defense that people dye their hair and dogs can undergo similar treatments did little to assuage concerns about transparency and animal welfare standards. The controversy surrounding the ‘panda dogs’ added another chapter to China’s history of faux animal displays in zoos.

Just last year, Hangzhou Zoo faced scrutiny after a video of a peculiar bear walking upright piqued suspicions. The zoo staff quickly dispelled rumors of a person in a bear suit, underscoring the challenges faced by Chinese zoos in maintaining credibility and authenticity. These incidents serve as cautionary tales about the intersection of entertainment, ethics, and animal welfare in the global zoo industry.

Rachel Adams

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