Visitors dumbfounded by balloon penguins at Chinese pop-up 'zoo'

Visitors dumbfounded by balloon penguins at Chinese pop-up 'zoo'
PHOTO: Weibo

Many people find penguins adorable and they wouldn't miss the chance to see the birds - which mostly live in the Southern Hemisphere - in person.

So, when a banner boasted of a "penguin invasion" at a pop-up zoo in Guangxi, China in November, excited locals bought 15-yuan (S$3) tickets to catch a glimpse of the birds.

But parents and children who stepped into the Guishan Zoo were dumbfounded by the sight of a balloon penguin tied to a pole in an enclosure while its fellow 'penguins' laid in various stages of deflation on the ground.

Visitors stunned by balloon penguins at Chinese pop-up 'zoo'

The other animals on display in the 'zoo' were just as puzzling.

Live poultry such as geese and chickens waddled around in meshed coops, and a lone turtle sat in a glass tank filled with cash donations from visitors who wished for "fortune and longevity".

And it appears that this is not the first time that such a bizarre 'zoo' has popped up in China this year.

In September, a similar-looking banner promoting an encounter with penguins was spotted in Jiangsu.

A video clip filmed by visitors showed half-inflated penguins, and a man could be heard asking one of the flattened 'birds': "Are you alright, buddy?"

Netizens were amused by these pop-up 'zoos', with some saying on Weibo that they could visit these 'animals' for free at the market, while others called them a scam and condemned the operators for deceiving the public.

minlee@sph.com.sg

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