The Guishan Zoo, which opened in Yulin in November, advertised itself as a place where visitors could see rare animals and learn about wildlife, according to The South China Morning Post.
Flyers promoting the opening of the zoo featured penguins, an ostrich, a crocodile and peacocks. The text on the ads promised a "penguin invasion." No wonder then that excited locals bought 15 yuan (approximately Rs 146) tickets to catch a glimpse of exotic animals.
What they saw left them disappointed, to say the least.
Pictures posted on China's Twitter-like Weibo show a single inflated plastic penguin tied to a pole in an enclosure. Other pictures show more blow-up birds - slowly deflating - scattered on the ground.
Also on display: a lone turtle in a glass cage as well as geese and roosters.
A new zoo in Yulin that promoted its penguins opened its door this week. Astonished visitors saw geese, ducks, one tortoise,...and inflatable penguins: https://t.co/4kmxZ1Nveq#China#trendingpic.twitter.com/lLDQ4oNlDF— What's On Weibo (@WhatsOnWeibo) November 30, 2017
The photos quickly went viral on Weibo, prompting laughs and anger.
"I find it hilarious but people who actually bought the tickets might be angry," wrote one person, according to The South China Morning Post. "You would better off going to the street market to see those animals. It is free by the way," wrote another.
Another joked he was impressed with the "rare, wild animals" on display. "Yes, there are even penguins! I laughed until my face cramped," he wrote, according to The Straits Times.
The zoo owner told the Nanguo Morning Post it had been set up by a third-party contractor and she did not know there would be inflatable animals until the day they went on display.
The zoo has since been shut down.
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