Panda Dogs?


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Social media posts promoted the Taizhou Zoo in China unveiled a new exhibition featuring “panda dogs.” Visitors were also charged 20 yuan (just under $3 U.S.) to see the new attraction.

But thousands who travelled to the zoo in Jiangsu province ultimately discovered the animals were actually dyed Chow Chow dogs. A worker at the zoo reportedly denied accusations of false advertising and said, “This is just a new display we offer to visitors.”

Indeed, that’s true – the exhibit was new and they are sort of “panda dogs,” but hardly a new species of anything.

Animal rights activists complained about the use dye on the dogs, but the zoo contends (likely rightly so) that the dye is harmless.

This is not the first time a zoo in China has pulled this exact stunt. It’s likely because even some Chinese Zoos are desperate for giant pandas, as they are a huge draw anywhere in the world they happen to be.

Of course, the species is native to China. To protect the wild population, China established 67 natural reserves for giant pandas, covering just over half of their natural habitat. As of the end of 2020, there were 633 captive giant pandas, and 11 of them have been successfully reintroduced into the wild, with nine surviving. There are only about 2,000 individuals living in their native habitat.