Late last year, Shanghaiist ran several stories on the abhorrent Animal Olympics event held in Shanghai. Such was the media and public backlash against this event, we didn’t expect to see performances of its ilk again in Shanghai. Optimists like us are often proven wrong. Shanghai Wild Animal Park, the organisers of last year’s Animal Olympics, appear to be up to their old tricks.
We mentioned yesterday that the UK’s Daily Mail ran photographs of what appear to be Sun Bears performing a series of tricks for patrons at Shanghai Animal Wildlife Park. The Daily Mail also wrote:
Shackled bears and monkeys are just some of the sights on show during the week-long holiday.
Friends of Shanghaiist visited this Nanhui park yesterday, and were impressed by the facilities of the park. Later, they were horrified to discover that live ducks were being fed to crocodiles. Flickrite mjnewhook described the scene to Shanghaiist.
The ducks were RMB10 each, and as far as I know, there was no limit to the amount of ducks allowed to be fed to the crocodiles. The keepers only brought a single box containing 10 ducks to the enclosure though.
When we first arrived at the enclosure, the ducks were there to be sold. We returned later and two ducks were released. One was eaten immediately, and another duck was chirping loudly (on the water in the enclosure). Another crocodile then slid into the water, and I took these shots. There was a huge crowd all around both sides of the shore. The crowd was buzzing with excitement. As the croc came along to the duck they (the crowd) were gasping and such. The crowed “oohed” when the crocodile missed on its first approach. I didn’t see it, but I’m sure the duck was eaten. The crowd was looking on cheering during all of this.
Unfortunately for mjnewhook, this wasn’t the first time he had encountered live-animal feeding of crocodiles in Shanghai — he took a photo of a separate encounter of this kind in the Shanghai Aquarium a few years ago. The blood sport of live animal feedings chills us on several levels. Places like Shanghai Aquarium and Shanghai Animal Wildlife Park are not open wildlife reserves, they are enclosed parks in which deliberately-released prey has no chance of escape. What is worse is that a live animal is fed to a predator under the guise of entertainment. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of live-animal feedings in China. This YouTube video of live sheep feeding to Siberian tigers near Harbin shows that despite the location, the enthrall of a live-animal kill isn’t the exclusive domain of Chinese citizens.
This issue may seem insignificant in relation to other, more horrifying stories of animal cruelty emanating from China of late, the worst of which include ducklings torn to pieces via a woman’s toes (WARNING: graphic images on that page), a migrant worker beating, burning and finally bricking a sheep to death, and the partially-successful act of burning a dog and her litter of puppies to death because they made too much noise.
All of these stories further reinforce the opinion that China remains as one of those areas in the world where animal cruelty and exploitation for entertainment, a few RMB , or just for the hell of it still doesn’t smack the conscience of the average Zhou on the street.
The Daily Mail has previously run a series of animal-rights articles highlighting China’s List of Shame.
All photographs here were supplied with permission by mjnewhook.