Zoos are supposed to be designed to protect people from animals, but sometimes they need to work the other way around.
Only two crocodiles are left alive of over a dozen that were placed in Rural Grand View Garden, a zoo in Shenzhen’s Guangming New Zone, Shenzhen Evening News reports. The cause of their death? Visitors throwing stones at them and polluting their habitat with garbage.
A journalist who visited the zoo this week reported that, as crocodiles hibernate during the winter, a lot of visitors have been shouting, spitting and throwing things at them to make sure they are alive.
Because the manmade lake in which they lived was full of garbage thrown by visitors, staff from the zoo went in to clean it this week but discovered that only two were still alive.
The zoo has issued warnings about such behavior but staff say they have little power to stop it, for some reason.
Sina Weibo users have been less than amused by their compatriot’s behaviour. One user said: “Throwing stones is easy. They should go down in person and see whether the crocodiles are real.” Another said: “Are the zookeepers all fucking dead?” Some lamented the low character of the Chinese people, and others wished similarly unpleasent endings on the perpetrators.
However, the fact that there is so much anger suggests that awareness of animal rights is increasing in the Middle Kingdom.