Look: Chinese zoo debuts dyed Chow Chows as ‘panda dogs’

Look: Chinese zoo debuts dyed Chow Chows as ‘panda dogs’Look: Chinese zoo debuts dyed Chow Chows as ‘panda dogs’
via Weibo
A zoo in China’s Jiangsu province has attracted confusion and controversy after showcasing two Chow Chow dogs dyed to resemble giant pandas.
Key points:
  • The “panda dogs” were unveiled at Taizhou Zoo on May 1, China’s May Day holiday, and have since attracted thousands of visitors.
  • The stunt sparked confusion and controversy, with some questioning the ethics of dyeing the dogs and others raising concerns about potential deception in ticket descriptions.
  • The zoo defended its move as a way to enhance visitor experience and attract more guests, noting that the dogs were dyed with safe, non-toxic dyes.

The details:
  • Taizhou Zoo, located in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, opened a dedicated enclosure featuring the Chow Chows, which were dyed to look like giant pandas. An information board placed in front of the area tells visitors that “panda dogs” are not real dog breeds.
  • The zoo has experienced a surge in visitors, with surrounding areas experiencing traffic jams. Entrance to the enclosure is reportedly included in the zoo’s entry ticket, which costs 20 yuan ($2.8) per adult and 10 yuan ($1.4) per child taller than 1.4 meters (4.6 feet).
  • Videos posted online, however, led some to mistake the dogs for real pandas. Others already at the zoo were reportedly disappointed upon checking out the enclosure.
  • The scheme has sparked discussions on possible animal abuse and fraud. In response, the zoo said its aim is to attract more visitors and enhance their experience, as it currently does not have the capacity to house actual pandas.
  • The zoo also claimed that it uses safe, non-toxic dyes to paint the Chow Chows. A professional pet beautician said that healthy pets can get their hair dyed as long as organic, plant-based ingredients are used, as per the Global Times.
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