My experiences in Shenzhen

I have been to the Shenzhen Zoo two times since I moved here. Now I also have a job walking dogs after school.

Going to the zoo made me feel there are people here that don’t care a lot about animals. I know some people here do and they help take care of them, but these people don’t even make a dent in the amount of animals that need help.  The animals and their exhibits at the zoo were unclean. The water in some exhibits, like the Hippopotamus one, is green with algae and you can’t even see the hippos except when they stick their heads up. The exhibits for animals like zebras are littered with the animal’s waste, food and people’s trash. In zoos I’ve been to in the US exhibits and animals are clean. You can see through the water to the animals and there is no trash. The exhibits here are made out of concrete and chain link fences. For example, the Shenzhen Zoo’s medium-sized cats exhibit is literally concrete ground and chain link fences. The cages are about as big as my bed. The animals just lay around and pace, barely alive.  I think an animal’s exhibit should look like their natural habitat in the wild. The animals should be lively; lions roaring, monkeys swinging from tree to tree on vines and penguins putting on a good show without being forced to. At the Shenzhen Zoo, I felt the animals mostly hate people. They sulk around.  I think this is because of the way they are treated.

I know that not all people here don’t care about animals. One example is Judy from Judy’s Dog Rescue. I volunteer for her, two – three days a week, walking and playing with dogs. The dogs that she rescues are strays. These dogs were abandoned, abused, and starved while on the streets.  She treats their medical   problems if they have any.   She takes in any dog that is brought to her or she finds that needs help. For example, one dog is a puppy that came in with a skin disease, another is a stray she befriended, but all the dogs she has were in need of a home. The oldest dogs are eight years old and the youngest a puppy, but all are loving. If more people cared as much as Judy did, animals here would have better lives.

My experiences show that even though there are people who don’t care much for animals, the people who do make up for that by how hard they work to help local animals.

Submitted By : Claire Warner

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