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6 Inflatable Penguins Were a Substitute for the Real Thing at This Zoo

Visitors to a newly opened zoo in China were promised penguins, ostriches and crocodiles. They got inflatable toys instead.

When the Guishan Zoo opened in late November, they promised visitors a “penguin invasion” which would “educate visitors about living creatures” for a $2.25 admission. But when visitors entered the zoo, they didn’t find the birds. They saw six inflatable cartoon penguins in an “enclosure” with another loner replica penguin by itself in a moat.

A new zoo in Yulin that promoted its penguins opened its door this week. Astonished visitors saw geese, ducks, one tortoise,…and inflatable penguins: https://t.co/4kmxZ1Nveq#China#trendingpic.twitter.com/lLDQ4oNlDF

— What’s On Weibo (@WhatsOnWeibo) November 30, 2017

Images of the “rare animals” spread quickly across the Chinese blogging website Weibo and a few days later, the zoo shut down.

The zoo’s owner told the Nanguo Morning Post that they hired a contractor to set up the exhibit and that she had no idea the animals would be inflatable instead of alive.

However, it wasn’t like the zoo was completely devoid of animal life. There were geese, roosters and a turtle on display. And, as one Weibo user pointed out, there were plenty of opportunities to see the natural wonder of “mosquitoes, ants, flies, and mice.”

This is not the first time that a zoo has attempted to display inflatable toys. Earlier this year, a park in China’s Jiangsu province advertised an exhibit with penguins brought in from the south pole. The event organizer later clarified that they had said nothing about the penguins being real.

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