Chinese Zoo Defends ‘Panda’ Exhibit After Allegedly Using Color Dyed Dogs

Taizhou Zoo in Jiangsu Province, China, has recently come under scrutiny for its unconventional approach to attracting visitors. In an attempt to compensate for the absence of actual pandas, the zoo introduced an exhibit featuring Chow Chows, a breed of spitz-type dogs native to northern China, dyed to resemble pandas. This creative yet controversial display was unveiled on May 1, drawing significant public interest and queues of visitors eager to see the panda-like dogs.

The zoo’s decision to alter the appearance of these dogs by trimming and dying their fur to mimic panda markings has sparked a mix of reactions. While some visitors find the dyed dogs cute and an interesting attraction, others have expressed concerns, labeling the practice as potential animal cruelty. The debate hinges on the ethical considerations of using animals for entertainment by altering their natural appearance in such a significant way.

In defense of the exhibit, a zoo spokesperson argued that dying animal fur can be likened to people dyeing their hair, suggesting that it is not harmful if done with natural dyes and proper care. The spokesperson emphasized that the dye used on the dogs is safe for animals with long fur and that the unusual exhibit has not deterred the public, with many still coming to view the dogs.

The zoo’s unique approach has undoubtedly generated attention, but it also raises important questions about the ethical treatment of animals in captivity and the lengths to which institutions will go to attract visitors. This incident reflects broader issues within the zoo industry related to animal welfare and the use of animals for entertainment, prompting discussions about the balance between creative attractions and ethical practices in animal care.


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