I was expecting to see a very carefully recreated environment, with small, planted and protected bamboo forests, where the pandas could live in a half free but controlled condition.
It was frustrating to see the pandas through a window cage. When we go around, the back of the cages show a small open space, but the sensation remains. I think it would be easier to do a lot better than that.
We decided, against our better judgement to take our kids to the Beijing zoo yesterday. What a zoo indeed! First, our kids spent half their time fending off the locals, who insist on touching them and taking video and photos without asking. This is cultural I realize, and afterall the kids are "white" and are a novelty for locals, especially the ones who have come from outside Beijing and are not accustomed to seeing foreigners. But what is really disgusting is the awful state of the zoo's animal enclosures. As many others have said there is not enough room to move properly and the cages are dirty and unnatural. Despite there being lots of Do Not Feed the Animals signs, I witnessed tens of people feeding the animals at every cage. A lady threw a huge package of cheeze over the glass walls into the wolf cage, monkeys feasted on crackers pushed through the cage walls, and a man threw a whole package of cookies to the black bear, which is so fat it can hardly walk. Everyone seems to think this is wonderful, and there are no zoo staff in sight anywhere to tell people to stop this craziness.
Unique Suggestions: Go on a weekday where the crowds are not so bad.
Fun Alternatives: Save your $3 (20 yuan) and go see the Singapore zoo, or maybe avoid them altogether.
Reason why we came to that ZOO or 'dong wu yuan' in Chinese was to examine the conditions for living animals, or how are their natural habitats being replaced in one way or another. But when we were strolling among cages, it was kind of interesting if not bizzare experience altogether.
There are way too many animals in otherwise large place and many of them have been left in pitty state with no adequate shelter and must live on floor of concrete or bare soil, cages too small for adequate movements, some with little shadow. What bored they looked, their fur and feathers broken and their eyes shallow. No place to hide for necessary privacy, no place for game. They say there are 7000 animals here, and the 'dong wu yuan' has been opened for public since 1908.
A group of flamingo had attracted a group of professional photographers with large cameras near entry. Other birds were barely admired. Large groups of people were relaxing in shadow by the ponds, watching birds and feeding ducks – the only places that feel real lively and there were plenty of flowering trees in spring which contribute to friendlier appearance of the place. Most people were crowded in panda room, where giant and gentle bear feeds on bamboo behind the glass, in darkish room. It was one of the reason to come for many people and you have to pay extra if you want to see; there will be little chance to meet bear somewhere else unless you go to Chengdu. But nowsadays they say panda is protected, but what happens in real… you can only imagine.
Cages with wild cats: behind the bars, just on platform of a few square meters in the large house, all they can do is eat, sit and lay. Most depressing images. Elephant outside and deer and others were equally dperessed and out of boredom they kick the floor or lay entirely passively. Birds had no room, underground animals have no hidings.
And then there were visitors - they scream at birds and harass animals in many undecent ways. If you want to get depressed, visit ZOO.
Its on Xizhimenwai avenue next to Beijing Exhibition hall.
Admission fee: 15 RMB. Extra 5 RMB for panda hall.
Unique Suggestions: Don't make any additional action that will further stress already deprived animals. Don't feed them with any extra food you brought.
If you come with kids, you can do a lot if you tell them difference between real environments and ZOO and what does it mean to be 'a prisoner'.
Fun Alternatives: You don't have to see ZOO where animals are hold in bad state. Better see them on pictures.
If you must go to this concentration camp for some of the worlds greatest animals so be it but be prepared to be upset and disturbed by what you will see. All the animals including The Pandas, Lions, Tigers, Bears and the Wolves are kept in small pens/cages with very little to occupy or stimulate them so a number of the animals show signs of mental problems. This and the problem of people both parents and children shouting and throwing things at the animals to attract there attention and encourage them to move make the trip one to be missed. I would say if you did want to see probably the best looked after Pandas in the world go to Ocean Park in Hong Kong they have got to be the “happiest” in captivity.
Fun Alternatives: I would say if you did want to see probably the best looked after Pandas in the world go to Ocean Park in Hong Kong they have got to be the “happiest” in captivity.
Its the 22nd February 2007 and i have just arrived home after spending Chinese new year in Beijing. The weather was pretty cold, but the conditions within Beijing zoo, can only be summed up as barbaric and absolutely disgusting. I was appalled by the maltreatment and total neglect of the animals, especially the wild cats and primates. The enclosures resemble prison cells, which have decayed over 100 years and you sense the animals depression and boredom throughout the zoo.
A number of the animals looked dirty, unhealthy and the black panther inparticular had a injury to its leg. It left myself and my girlfriend wishing we never went to this 'detention centre' and wondering why this 'hole' is still given the opportunity to house such beautiful creatures of the world.
I believe action needs to be taken to relocate the animals of Beijing zoo. Can anyone help?
Ming Tombs: An over-rated waste of time; you'll wish you had walked further on the Great Wall that day. Chinese tour guides always include it with Badaling......
Beijing Zoo: Chinese prison camp for animals. The pitiful pandas here probably wish they were buried at Ming Tombs.
Unique Suggestions: The best place in China to see pandas is in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
Fun Alternatives: UPDATE: There have been significant improvements in Beijing Zoo's conditions over the last several years, and the adjacent new aquarium is a good place to take children.
We went to the Beijing Zoo yesterday to see the Giant Pandas. There were 3 pandas in the outside enclosure and 2 inside. We came away feeling very sad for the pandas and their shockingly poor living conditions. They had run down play equipment and we were sure that if the panda went on the slides, they would get splinters in their grey bottoms. The pandas looked terribly dirty and there was one poor panda who looked like he had keeled over and died under a bare tree. We couldn't see any water or shade the outside pandas could have access to. What we would like to know is is there anything people can do to help improve the living conditions of these 5 pandas in the Beijing Zoo?
Unique Suggestions: Although it is very heartbreaking to see these pandas, we still encourage people to go and see them in the Beijing Zoo as we hope that this will increase public awareness and hopefully, this will lead to some action being taken to help the pandas.
Beijing zoo is desperate unfortunately the only place your likely to see pandas. The conditions for the animals are grim. I admit I always go to see the pandas becuase it's the only chance from the UK we have. The rest is a waste of money and will leave you depressed. It has only slightly improoved from when I first came in the late 80s. The animals atleast aren't chained now. The Aquarium at the rear is well done but is an American import and expensive and not what you would go to Bejing for.
Unique Suggestions: Pop into see the pandas then walk to Purple bamboo park down the road is worth walking around if you are a people watcher. probably boring for children.
If you have to go to the zoo to see the Pnadas go. If you don't have to don't. Compared to Western zoos it is horrible. We were only aloud to see the Panda enclosure but my girl friend went to the toilet and pretened to get lost and saw some of the other enclosures, she cried when we got back on the bus, if your like me and don't like animals being mistreated., don't go.
Unique Suggestions: Don't go
Fun Alternatives: Get a postcard
Beijing Zoo opened in 1906 and it looks as if nothing has changed since then. Little efort is put into giving the animals a good and natural lifing conditions.
More than 6,000 animals of over 500 species are on show. Among them are giant pandas, golden monkeys, addaxes, tigers from Northeast China, elks, yaks, precious birds and gold fish.
Those animals are a sad sight. I hope hte conditions aree improving. But when you are an animal lover you better don't visit Beijing Zoo!!!
Fun Alternatives: Don't go!
We wanted to have a look at the Giant Panda so we made a morning trip to the Beijing Zoo. We got to see the panda alright and they certainly looked comfortable in their individual enclosures (but nothing Giant about them).
Our complain is the way the sun-bears and polar bears were treated by the locals. Although many signs were displayed indicating that the bears should not be fed by the public, the locals were feeding everything from chips to nuts to plastic bags to the bears. You can literally see the bears begging for food which they don't know is bad for them and the public competing to see who gets to feed the bears! The zoo keepers were not doing anything abt that either. Some of the bears were in such a poor condition that patches of diseased skin can be seen through the fur!
I would skip the Beijing zoo. Yes, there are a lot of pandas there, but many of the animals are kept in small, dirty cages and the kids are allowed to poke at them and throw things at them - it's really kind of horrifying. When I saw kids pouring soda into the mouth of an American Brown Bear I had just about enough. On the other hand, it's a good way to see firsthand the symptom of xiao hongdi (little emperor) - the result of the one-child policy is that many of the children are allowed to do anything they wish without discipline. Ugh.
BEIJING ZOO - Total waste of time and money. I tagged along only at the insistence of my traveling companion's sister. It's so dirty (trash in the pond, animals strewn here and there) and very disappointing. I think most people come to see the pandas, you're better off going to Washington, D.C. or somewhere outside of a Chinese zoo to catch a glimpse of these national treasures. The plexiglass separating the pandas from the visitors was scratched, not maintained and hard to see through.
LAO SHE TEA HOUSE - I don't know whose idea it was to go here, but we did. Our intent, to have tea and watch a mini-Chinese Opera production was unfufilling... There were many older tourists, who seemed to be somewhat entertained by this. Skip it. If you have the urge for Chinese Opera, go elsewhere.