It can get truly junglee in China's zoos, apparently. Visitors to a zoo in southern China have killed a kangaroo and injured another. How? The tourists threw stones at the kangaroos to get them to hop around. Chinese media outlets reported the news in sharp language, going so far as to call the tourists 'stupid'.
The outrageous incidents happened at the Fuzhou Zoo in the Fujian province. The victim was a 12-year-old female kangaroo. The stones that the tourists threw at her had nearly severed her foot. But veterinarians who tried for days to save her life said what ultimately killed her was probably a rock that hit her body and ruptured her kidney.
At the same zoo, yet another kangaroo, this one a five-year-old male, sustained bad injuries to his foot after it was hit by a brick thrown by the visitors. Chinese news outlets carried an image that showed his injured foot. (See right bottom of image below)
Zoo staff say they have been trying to stop the stone-pelting for years. They say they have removed all the stones in the area around the kangaroo enclosure. But the tourists go out of their way to find stones from other places and bring them all the way back to throw them at the kangaroos. Surveillance cameras and boards seem to do little to prevent such behaviour.
The media reports also uniformly noted that it was unclear if any person had been charged for the kangaroos' death and injury.
This is hardly the first time Chinese tourists have hit the headlines for their unruly behaviour at zoos, many of which are themselves are notorious for the poor upkeep of the animals they house.
Rocks thrown at animals is just one facet of the problem that zoo visitors pose. Zoo officials told some of the media outlets that every holiday rush goes hand in hand with monkeys and bears falling sick because the visitors feed them human snacks like cake or savouries. This despite clear signage all around the enclosures asking the Chinese tourists not to do precisely those things.