Went to Kunming Zoo the other day. I've lived in Kunming for 2 years and finally I went there with my Chinese fiancee. Just a small note on that... DON'T GO THERE! In fact I am ashamed that I even sponsored such a dump with my money. The animals live in small cages made of concrete and metal bars. They sleep in their own shit and urine, they eat things not even close to their natural diet (Not even concidering that there are idiots throwing yoghurt, candy, plastic bottles etc. into their cages)
The Chinese around me complained on how dirty the animals were and after making a face quickly went over to the next cage. One of the bears inside the compound is completely crazy... and not in a cute way... actually crazy.
The horrible conditions in Kunming Zoo and the complete lack of empathy for animals displayed there, the stupidity and lack of knowledge showed by the visitors... just don't go... in fact... make any Chinese who want to take you there realise that we hate what is called Kunming Zoo. A shame and disgrace for a city otherwise beautiful and compassionate.
You forgot to mention the three-legged black panther.
I have lived in Kunming over 2 years now. I have not been to the zoo, nor will I ever go as I have this before. What a shame.
The zoo is distressing but hundred percent better than a few years ago so hopefully can only get better.Went last week and was looking beutiful with all the cherry trees in blossom. A mellow atmosphere with families out enjoying Kunming at its best. Zoo gardens worth a visit, early mornings lots of retired people out exercising and showing off their birds singing skills.Dont look in the cages and you can have a few quite hours in the middle of Kunming city.You can eyeball the fish for a bit of nature gazing.Impressive collection in all shapes and colours.Entrance fee only 10 yuan.
While I agree with you that the Kunming zoo is very disturbing, you'd have to remember to keep things in perspective. It wasn't that long ago when China was a fully communistic state and that such luxuries like a zoo did not exist. Also, currently there are people living in rural areas that are actually worse than the animal in the zoo, so it is difficult to get the average person to care very much about the well-being of an animal. Remember back to the 50s? maybe the 40s or the 30s. The way we treated and locked up animals in our own zoo is probably comparable. Ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. what is needed is education and funding. People needs to be educated and well-informed which costs money. Most people I've dealt with aren't bad people, they just don't know any better.
The Safari Park in north Kunming is much better. The animals have plenty of space to roam, and are clean and in good condition. I suppose for an animal, life in a Safari Park is much better that being eaten or skinned!
Tonyaod, If people do not go to this zoo, two things will result. Either the zoo will close and the animals set free or more likely, Kunming will upgrade and improve the zoo so people will want to support it. The money is available, just the will of the politicians are not. This zoo is really an embarrassment to our great city. Stop building just one road, and use the funds for something much more important! It's really not a money thing.
The zoo should be an example of how to treat animals, thus educating people to be compassionate to animals.
it's my understanding that when zoos close, the animals usually cannot be "set free" (despite the lovely warm fuzzies such a fairy tale ending gives me) due to them being dependent on the trappings of captivity (pun intended). So, they tend to be sold/transferred to other zoos, or disposed of.
while i see the educational purpose zoos served in the past, today they seem something of an anachronism.
Bucko, I hear you and I agree with you and TheSwedishGuy 100%, the conditions at the zoo is atrocious and didn't an antelope or some kind of animal died at the safari zoo because the visitors fed it a plastic bag and it got stuck in the intestines or something. You point is my point as well. Management will get away with what the paying public allows them to. If people protests the conditions by not going to the zoo then things well change immediately. The problem however, is that the average person knows nothing about basic animal welfare and so it is not likely they will demand a change in the conditions at the zoo anytime soon. What I was trying to say is that telling people not to go to the zoo is not a practical solution because they know nothing about animal welfare and so wouldn't listen. To really get the conditions changed we need to either educate the public about animal welfare and why we should show empathy towards them or to convince a few key government official why the conditions needs to be changes, both of which is not very likely. The only thing we can do is have patience and things will improve on their own, slowly.
mentioning the safari, i do really hope they can learn some from singapore. it's really nice.