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“Typical Chinese zoo, but still an entertaining visit”
Review of Hangzhou Zoo

Hangzhou Zoo
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
73 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Typical Chinese zoo, but still an entertaining visit”
Reviewed September 22, 2011

I've been to the Hangzhou Zoo twice, once while living in Hangzhou and most recently on a trip to visit friends. Although it certainly is not up to the same standards as an international zoo, we did not find it nearly as upsetting as the writer of the past review. Animals in China do not receive the same treatment as they would in a different country. That's just a fact. Frankly, the behavior of the Chinese visitors was more shocking to us than the condition of the animals or their cages. (They threw food and other objects into the cages and harassed the animals by pounding on the glass, etc.)

That said, it really isn't a horrible zoo. They have two pandas as well as several red pandas and a range of other typical zoo animals, such as elephants, giraffes, monkeys, and birds. The admission price (20 RMB) also includes a fairly entertaining animal show, in which bears ride bicycles and acrobats do a few stunts. You can also pay a little extra to be picked up by the elephant.

If you want to see pandas and have time to spare in Hangzhou, the zoo is worth a visit. It is only a few kilometers from West Lake, and several buses stop here along Hupao Road. Also, the entrance to the Tiger Spring is only a short walk away. The zoo entrance fee is reasonable and we were not disappointed by our visit, even though we are from a city that has one of the best zoos in the U.S.A.

Visited September 2011
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English first
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Animal Cruelty. Do not go!”
Reviewed October 3, 2009

Hangzhou Zoo- Visited DEC 08

This has to be THE worst case of animal cruelty I have ever witnessed. I travel a lot and love nature/ animals and I visit a lot of nature parks/ zoo’s etc and I have never seen such total lack of regard to the welfare of the animals housed .

I’m not sure what I expected from a Zoo in China but certainly not this. The enclosures were very minimal, most had no visible source of water or food, no where to hide and definitely nothing to occupy or stimulate the animals.

The Bears (Black & Grizzly) were kept in very small concrete pits and were quite clearly depressed. There was no where to hide from the masses of tourists crowding round throwing rubbish into the enclosures nor was there any source of entertainment to stimulate the intelligent species.

The grazing species (Deer, Antelope etc) had serious skin diseases (it doesn’t take a vet to notice something’s wrong with an animal when it’s missing 80-90 % of it’s fur and has large, pink, sore looking patches) . Considering these are GRAZING animals we were sickened to find them in a concrete jungle with no grass.

The reptiles (keep in mind it was mid December and FREEZING) had no visible sources of heat or light in the vivariums (please take this seriously as the tanks had an inch of sawdust and no plants, places to hide etc there was most definitely no heat source. They looked very pale and were very still…). The most shocking display in the reptile section (besides the clearly dead snakes and lizards) was the sea turtle they had. Now I’m not a turtle expert but I’m confident most (if not all) species are listed as either endangered or threatened. It was wedged in a tank barely big enough for goldfish. There was honestly half an inch between the shell and the sides of the tank, the entire circumference of the turtle. I can’t be certain if it was alive but if it was it wouldn’t be for long.

The Sea Lions pool (where they put on a show but was not kept during the remainder of the day) looked like a sewer- we jumped a fence (not difficult as no security or animal keepers present) to see what the housing was like and was shocked to faintly see two Sea Lions kept in pitch black concrete pits (about the size of a large bath) unsurprisingly our presence got the Sea Lions barking and a young animal trainer came rushing out of the building adjacent with soap suds in her hair. The hygiene of her hair was obviously more important than light or entertainment or even basic hygiene for the poor Sea Lions (we weren’t kicked out, we played the lost tourist card…).

Even ‘pet’ dogs were not safe in this hell hole of an animal institution. Hangzhou Zoo have a small section right at the back called ‘Small Animal Paradise’… This consisted of small concrete kennels housing species like Pugs, Dobermans, Dalmatians etc. No toys, no water, no food and most noticeably no love. They clearly had cataracts, skin diseases and were terrified of humans. We sadly witnessed a Chinese tourist hanging of the fencing to the Dalmatians kennel and trying to punch the poor creature. The dog was terrified and the more the dog yelped the more the imbecile laughed, clearly very humorous to the monster. This incident was when we decided to leave as one more moment and I’m pretty certain either myself or my partner would have been jailed for manslaughter.

They had a typical circus act with Lions jumping through rings of fire, elephants standing on balls and two little petrified Sun Bears parading around on skates. Not really a lot I can say about this besides the obvious fact this was depressing and should be illegal. We crept in to the auditorium a few hours before the show and managed to get a good view behind to the backstage area. The Lions and Tigers were kept in tiny crates for hours sadly pacing up and down their tiny enclosures.

I could go on for hours about this place, I haven’t even touched upon the farm animals (Goats, Horses etc) nor the Birds or Monkeys but I’m sure you can guess what it was like. I’m not sure what can be done about places like this but if people who care about animal welfare stand up to these organisations by not visiting them and spreading the word and educating our children not to tolerate animal cruelty, then maybe the monsters who own and run these institutions will be forced to treat the animals with respect and humanity or better yet close down.

This was a most upsetting day, but please let it be known in no way am I trying to discourage tourists from visiting Hangzhou, it was a wonderful city rich with scenery and culture- just stay away from the zoo.

Many thanks for the time taken to read my troubled thoughts on the zoo, should you have any suggestions where else to post this review please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mallory
Mallorykm@hotmail.com

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

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