Quirky handbags, huggable stuffed toys and destination-branded keychains are what come to mind when purchasing touristy souvenirs to commemorate a trip well spent.
An elderly Chinese woman however had other ideas, as she snatched a generous handful of hair off a camel's coat before stuffing the “memento” in her handbag.
The incident happened during her visit to the Dalian Forest Zoo in Liaoning province on Tuesday, South China Morning Post reported.
The video posted online shows the woman inching over the fence, which contained several camels obliviously indulging in their meal, before hastily pulling off hair from a camel. According to a report in Shanghaiist, the camel coat-snatcher did it more than once.
The woman then cautiously draws away from the barricade as she preserves her “token”, as the camel directs its attention towards her. In the video, bystanders can be heard telling the woman to stop.
The online footage has sparked strong criticism, with internet users leaving snarky comments like, “Are you going to use it to knit a scarf?”, but it seems the zoo administration has forgiven the shamed offender.
It released a statement that the camel was unharmed as it was moulting (shedding its hair), and that they have taken measures to increase security surveillance around zoo animals.
According to Shanghaiist, this hasn’t been the first incident of tourists behaving badly at zoos or wildlife parks.
In February, the Chinese media reported on Beijing Badaling Wildlife Park visitors chasing peacocks and pulling out their tail feathers.
Only a month later at a zoo in Yangzhou, a man was caught throwing rocks at kangaroos with the intention of prompting them to hop for his entertainment.