Photo by [dbmboise].
Holy crap. Did you know that around 10,000 people flood into the Shanghai Zoo every morning to do calisthenics? They are all holders of the zoo’s “excercise card” which grants free admission to the park for seniors over 70. But the repercussions of these mature morning masses are somewhat more serious than zoo officials anticipated. From Shanghai Daily, here’s something you just don’t read every day:
Officials said as some arrive as early as 5am, three hours before zoo staff, it is difficult to ensure they behave properly.
Gradually, rather than working out, people have started coming to the zoo to play with animals, dig up edible plants and pick wild fruit, officials say.
“Such behavior is dangerous to the animals as well as to themselves,” said Zhang Feng, the zoo director.
In the spring, a zebra that was spooked by people digging up plants near its enclosure ran into wire netting and died at the scene.
There have also been cases of pregnant animals miscarrying after being startled by loud disco and hip-hop music used in some dance exercises, officials said.
If their treatment by actual park staff wasn’t bad enough, these animals now put up with prodding senile old men (there was one report of an old man who thought a lion was his “friend” and tried to “tease” him with his foot) and what is likely a fantastic assortment of aged audio equipment blasting everything from ballroom to Beyonce.
In other Shanghai Zoo news, China gets their first mouse lemurs!