For a rare bit of (relatively) good animal news we turn to Chongqing where a “one man zoo” has been closed due to “poor management.”
That management refers to Tang Decai. He is the (former) owner, keeper, cleaner, ticket seller, guard, guide and vet of a zoo located inside Wanzhou Park in Chongqing municipality’s Fuling District. Netizens were alerted to the zoo and its squalid conditions and cramped cages when a news report was published last week.
In an interview, Tang had matter-of-factly told the reporter that recently he had lost his ostrich when the unfortunate animal had been a bit careless one night, falling asleep too near to a neighboring cage, which contained a hungry jackal. Saying that there was no sense in wasting good meat, Tang added that he planned to feed the ostrich legs to his 20-year-old lioness.
Along with the lion and jackal, the zoo is also home to 18 other animals, including a black bear, a camel and some monkeys. They all live in cages with just two to five square meters of space each.
Tang had been running the zoo since the park was built back in the late 1970s. While it had been popular in the past, over the last decade fewer and fewer people had been visiting each year, and the zoo was losing money, struggling to stay open.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, private zoos were a popular attraction in Chinese cities; however, they have been pushed to side in recent years by larger public zoos. In fact, private zoos were banned in 2010, but that regulation has not been strictly implemented.
Its not clear where Tang’s animals will now go, but we’d guess that they are destined for a slightly less dreadful Chinese zoo.
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