A zookeeper at the Haichang Zoo in Xiamen is going to have to start looking for a new job after photos hit the internet earlier this week of tourists enjoying a joyride atop one of the zoo’s rare giant tortoises.
The zoo’s pair of Aldabra giant tortoises were gifted three years ago by the government of the volcanic island nation of Mauritius. The tortoises are some of the world’s largest and can live to be well over 150 years old.
The zoo allows all tourists to take pictures with the tortoises, but visitors aren’t exactly permitted to hop up and go tortoiseback riding. Unfortunately, an unscrupulous zookeeper blatantly violated the rules for some extra cash and let tourists defile the shells of Maojia and Maolu. Due to the online backlash, the worker has been caught and sacked.
One of the netizens who posted the photos online related what he witnessed: “When I visited the zoo, I saw some tourists riding on a tortoise. If the tortoise stopped walking, the zookeeper would come over and knock on the tortoise’s shell with a screwdriver until it started moving again.”
The zookeeper also charged tourists 30 yuan for taking pictures with the tortoises and then pocketed 10 yuan each time. Exploiting animals for money! For shame!
By Tanto Chen
[Images via: news.163.com]