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“There has to be a better place to see a Panda”
Review of Beijing Zoo

Beijing Zoo
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Private Half-Day Beijing Zoo Panda House and Beijing Aquarium
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Let's be frank: everybody wants to see a Panda. But although they have a handful of Giant Pandas at display, there has to be a better place to see them. In miserable tiny dirty cages, the animals seem really bad. The big cats area stunk like freaking evil, and seeing siberean tigers in small stone cages is not exactly a good experience. I'm not a specialist, but I'm sure this is not the right way to treat animals. I felt really good when I left.

4  Thank Vinnie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 4, 2013

Well we read the reviews on trip advisor prior to attending the zoo; and yes the zoo is in need of some expertise on how to look after and care for these animals.I could write a novel on all the sad things we saw there such as the polar bear who was in a concrete bunker with no water in his pool and pacing back and forth at the window stomping through its own excretement looking gaunt ;with painted pictures of a scenery on its bunker; i'm sure it was praying for death to escape that place ....but ...if your an animal lover I would say make a direct line from the front gate and definitely go to the Aquarium{towards the back of the zoo area} as I would would rate that as extremely worthwhile.{fish;and sea creatures looked cared for and calm} There is a tank full of fish who were watching the people as much as we were looking at them....kind of strange feeling...
The zoo was 40RMB to enter {about $6 aud} the Aquarium was 100 RMB on top ($15) and worth while.
If you go to see the panda...it will cost you 5rmb on top of the entry fee....and I am sure there are better places to see Panda's in China ....but if this is the only place on your scheduled trip...then read the trip-advisor reviews and take the reviews on board ...otherwise you might come out upset and angry .

1  Thank Jackie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Yes the variety of animals is extensive, but those poor animals! They may be better off dead, than to subsist in this zoo. The facilities are depressing and the cages are way too small. There are pandas to be seen , but it may not be worth it, when encountering the rest of the zoo. Shocking, humbling experience.

4  Thank must_travel_soon_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

Before we came here, I was aware of how animals are viewed in Asian countries - they are a source of food.

I expected to see animals in cages or displayed in rundown concrete cells similar to western zoos some 30 years. I also expected to see visitors viewing animals similar to a visit I made to the Gangzhou Zoo years ago when I overhead a visitor talking about how tasty pandas were.

Unfortunately things haven't changed quick enough for animal rights activists or those use to western zoos. Be prepared for visitors banging on the cages, yelling at the animals and even feeding them junk food. The better the reaction, the better the photo opportunity.

Although we saw some rare and endangered animals, their role in life was to be on display for the humans. I often wonder what the animals thought of the humans and their behaviours?

With my 11 yo son who wants to become a vet, we spent as much time talking about human psychology as we did about zoology. The zoo is conveniently located about a subway station.

BTW the zoo had an Australian section with a cafe that sold "Australian Style Food". They even had bronze statues of kangaroos positioned in from of a large picture of Uluru. It was hilarious especially when the kangaroo statues had crocodile like snouts!! The food menu included Beef in black bean sauce - an Aussie favourite! Also on offer was "New York style burger with fries" - sounds like McDonalds to me and yes another Aussie favourite. Part of the zoo was the Beijing Aquarium. They were charging 200 yuan for the privilege. We gave it a miss because we didn't want to see a fake Barrier Reef, deadly blue ring octopus or man-eating white pointers...

Did we see what we came for? Yes.

Did we see what we hoped for? Not yet.

1  Thank bill s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 13, 2013

Have just returned from Beijing (14/1/13) and a visit to one of the most horrible examples of animal welfare mismanagement I have seen. I won’t repeat the horror stories as they have mostly been well documented by other reviewers on this site. I didn’t do the whole zoo as I found my day being filled with increasing levels of sadness.

I find myself trying to give the zoo some credit for the state of the enclosures. Beijing is in the middle of a very cold winter so there is no vegetation growing at all. Grass has turned to dirt which is all many of the animals have to lie on. The swimming pools in the enclosures are all empty and full of rubbish. I assume this is because the water would freeze so they are left empty. Overall I witnessed a poor standard of care in terms of animal enrichment and general care. As other mentioned, the animals do seem to be getting fed.

The thing that broke my heart was seeing a large polar bear lying in the dirt, filthy dirty without any grass, vegetation or resting platform away from the dirt. A simple, cheap bale of hay would at least provide some protection and comfort from the dirt. To top it off his pool was empty! Polar bears come from the Arctic, they make a living in cold water and ice so I don’t understand why this rare and beautiful animal was being treated in this manner. Those of us who have visited other polar bear exhibits know that these bears love to swim. It at least provides stimulation, exercise, a release from boredom and a chance to wash the bloody dirt off. Surly there is an overarching organization that looks at the welfare of these rare and endangered animals.

In Summary, approach Beijing Zoo with caution. Be aware you won’t find the level of animal welfare that you are accustomed to in your country. Other will say…animals in cages, so what? Maybe it gets better in summer when things grow and the pools are filled but my experience was awful.

Suggestion for the zoo administrators. Charge westerners a lot more to enter. We can afford it and put the proceeds to providing better care of your animals.

Visited January 2013
Ross of Brisbane

6  Thank Catabear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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