Chinese Zoo Sparks Debate with Exhibit of Chow Chow Dogs Dyed to Look Like Pandas

An exhibit at the Taizhou Zoo in Jiangsu Province, China, recently sparked outrage when visitors to the zoo discovered dogs masquerading as panda bears and housed in zoo enclosures. Many people are accusing the zoo of animal cruelty.

Photo: YouTube/New York Post

The zoo’s “panda dog” exhibit is made up of several chow chow dogs with their fur cut and dyed in a panda-like pattern to make them look like small panda bears.

See these “panda bears” for yourself in the video:

@mengtuantuan Does it look similar?#chowchow #lovely #Fake ♬ bunyi asal – lsabella

The chow chow is a sturdily built spitz-type dog breed originally found in northern China. This medium-to-large sized dog weighs about 40 to 70 pounds, a far cry from a panda’s top weight of about 250 pounds. But, of course, little versions of big things are all the rage these days, so many people are happy to pay to see the spectacle, exclaiming over the cuteness overload the tiny “pandas” provide.

Photo: Pexels/Fouad Labandji

To be clear, the zoo never intended for anyone to be tricked into thinking their “panda” exhibit had actual pandas in it. They knew all along that the dogs wouldn’t fool anyone. All the same, they say, they didn’t have any pandas at the zoo, so they thought this would be a fun alternative.

Zoo officials claim that natural dyes are not harmful to the dogs, but we have to wonder if putting dye so close to the eyes is safe. Amd that’s to say nothing of any other potential concerns.

Photo: TikTok/mengtuantuan
Honestly, it’s hard to say which is worse – penning up actual wild pandas to be ogled at or artificially transforming dogs into “pandas” to play the part. We’re not really fans of the idea of making a spectacle of a beautiful and endangered species for profit, but it’s also upsetting to see an organization gain fame and fortune from a cheap mock-up.

What do you think of this faux zoo exhibit?

See more of the panda dogs in the video below.

People, Pets & Planet

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