Zoo Uses Blow-Up Penguins Instead Of Real Ones To Cut Costs

by : Julia Banim on : 30 Oct 2017 18:26
Asia Wire

Visitors to a zoo in China were indignant after being falsely informed they would get to see some very rare penguins ‘from the South Pole’.


Brand new Guishan Zoo in Yulin City advertised a special ‘penguin exhibit’ event, which initially looked very exciting.

After all, who doesn’t enjoy an afternoon looking at a fun group of playful penguins? If there was such a person, I wouldn’t trust them.

Asia Wire

With tickets priced at 15 RMB (£1.68) interested locals flooded the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region zoo to take a peek at the arctic penguins.


Imagine their bitter disappointment when they looked into the penguin enclosure only to see a group of about a dozen inflatable penguin imposters beaming blankly back at them…

The dodgy zoo had blatantly lied to the visitors – tempting them with the promise of real penguins, only to fob them off with blow-up frauds.

To add insult to injury, the only other animals at this ‘zoo’ were chickens, ducks and tortoises which, lets face it, really just aren’t that thrilling – no offence intended if duck zoos are your thing.

The zoo even had the barefaced cheek to sit a tortoise in a display box, promoting it as a ‘fortune tortoise’ so the already duped members of the public would give it money.

Sadly, it seems as though some people were fooled again after images emerged of the tortoise surrounded by yet more wasted cash…

Asia Wire

To be honest, I really don’t know many people who would pay to stare at a group of inflatable penguins and a couple of chickens.

So its unsurprising many of the ticked off guests wanted their money back. However, the crooked zoo was apparently unable/unwilling to give refunds.


Many confused visitors were forced to give up their cause and go home. What should have been a fun and interesting day out had descended into lies and bleakness.

Check out the grim scene below:

[ooyala autoplay=”true” player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”1280″ height=”720″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l” code=”pvZ3ZpZDE6HgKbHLWgsCvBwez1M27rIQ”]

Images of the shockingly dismal event were later shared on social media, making headline news in China.

It’s unclear whether the unscrupulous zoo keepers genuinely believed guests would be fooled into thinking a bunch of blow-up novelty inflatables were really living, breathing penguins.

However, what is clear is this was a case of startlingly unethical false advertising, taking advantage of people who just wanted to see rare and beautiful creatures up close.

Asia Wire

Frustratingly, this isn’t the only time people have been tricked by zoos, and I fear it won’t be the last.

In 2013, a zoo in Louhe, Henan – also in China – tried to pass off a hairy Tibetan mastiff as being an ‘African Lion’ despite this evidently not being the case.

Unbelievably, this same zoo had also apparently tried to pass off another dog as a wolf and a white fox as a leopard.

The level some zoos will stoop to is astonishing…

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals


  1. AsiaWire