Chinese zoo denies its bears are ‘humans in disguise’ after ‘suspicious’ photos and videos

Chinese zoo denies its bears are ‘humans in disguise’ after ‘suspicious’ photos and videos
via Weibo

The zoo said wearing a costume would be intolerable due to hot weather

August 1, 2023
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A zoo in China’s Zhejiang province is in hot water after being accused of hiring humans to play bears for one of its most popular exhibits.
What critics are saying: The allegations reportedly erupted earlier this month after photos and videos of a sun bear at the Hangzhou Zoo made rounds on Chinese social media.
In the accusatory posts, at least one black-furred bear can be seen standing like a person with pants-like folds under its rear — raising suspicions that the whole exhibit was just a giant cosplay.
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What the zoo is saying: An employee at the zoo reportedly rejected the allegations last week and insisted that the zoo’s sun bears are real. They explained that sun bears typically have a mild temperament that allows them to interact with visitors. Additionally, they said that the high temperature on the day the photos and videos were taken — 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) — would make a costume intolerable for a person to wear, according to Phoenix New Media.
They also mentioned that arrangements were made for reporters to see the bears for themselves.
The big picture: This is not the first time a Chinese zoo has been accused of having people wear animal costumes.
In 2013, a zoo in Louhe, Henan province, tried to pass off a large and hairy Tibetan mastiff dog as a lion. In 2019, a zoo in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, dressed staff workers as gorillas, later defending the stunt as an April Fool’s prank.

 
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      Carl Samson

      Carl Samson
      is a Senior Editor for NextShark

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