Employees at the Shanghai Zoo have asked tourists to please, dear God, ‘show some mercy to the animals’ after over 70 plastic water bottles were thrown into the lion’s enclosure over the national holiday, according to GBTimes.
“Shanghai Zoo is full of tourists who are throwing plastic water bottles into the lion’s enclosure. There were at least 70 bottles or more,” one netizen wrote after visiting the zoo.
Zoo officials are calling the the situation “heartbreaking”, as the cleaning crew can only access the enclosures once a day, and animals are left to dwell among the piles of food and garbage collecting within their dens.
The zoo has taken efforts to educate visitors about littering after a giraffe died from eating a plastic bag thrown into its enclosure by a tourist, yet people continue to treat the animals’ homes like giant waste receptacles.
Earlier this year, crocodiles at a zoo in Shenzhen, were stoned to death by visitors who wanted to “make sure the motionless reptiles were real”. Lions in Hangzhou were pelted with snowballs by visitors in January.
The national holiday week has shined light on the unruly behavior of massive crowds of tourists, who have stormed through China’s historic cities and left mounds of trash in their wake.