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Animals On View And On Menu at Beijing Zoo

Beijing, Eco-Travel — By David Chalk on May 28, 2010 at 7:15 am

Most zoos preach conservation and education, justifying displaying wild animals as a powerful learning tool that protects species in the wild.  At the Beijing Zoo, however, visitors can not just view exotic wild animals, they can eat them at the Bin Feng Tang restaurant right in the park.  The menu includes the webbed toes of a hippopotamus, kangaroo tail, deer penis, ant soup, scorpion, peacock, ostrich egg, shark fin soup and other delicacies.  Prices range from 100 and 1,000 yuan ($15-$150).

The restaurant’s owners told Chinese media the meat was from exotic animal farms and totally legal.  In the face of negative media coverage, restaurant staff now say the menu is being revised.  Until recently, the zoo exhibits of just-for-looking animals included information about which parts tasted best and were most useful according to traditional Chinese medicine, but those have also now been removed.

China is the world’s biggest market for wild animal consumption, with buyers willing to pay $70,000 for a tiger’s bones and penis.  Some student activists in China have started conservation groups, but they have a long cultural history to contend with.  “They think turtles are small animals only good for eating, so why bother saving them,” student Luo Xinmei told The Guardian. “Almost no one in Guangzhou realizes this is a center of the illegal wildlife trade.”

[Image: drben.net]

Tags: Beijing, Beijing zoo, China, conservation, eating zoo animals, zoo, zoo menu

    4 Comments

  • LDM says:

    The Zoo was one of the most disturbing parts of my time in Beijing ~4 years ago.

    The reptile house was the most appalling… Brand new, clean, and looked very similar to what you’d find in a nice zoo in the USA. I’d read the tag and then start looking for the snake/lizard/etc… I’d spot one and go “Ohh, there it is” then I’d spot another, and another, and another… often dozens of snakes in the same small cage. Then I’d spot the skeletons on the floor of the cage half-buried in the sand or dirt.

  • Margorie Casalenda says:

    Whoa! Thanks a lot! I always desired to produce in my web-site something similar to that. May i quote a part of your post to my weblog?

  • China is home to a large number of unique flora and fauna.
    China Tour will offer you a nice opportunity to enjoy the rare plants and interesting animals.

  • Don’t forget to see the cute giant pandas in Sichuan Province.
    Snub-nosed monkey in Yunnan Province is very adorable, too.
    You will come back with a sense of refreshment if you take China Tours .

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