Despite 575,980 signatures on a petition calling for its immediate closure, Grandview Mall’s Ocean World aquarium has recently announced plans to expand their facility to include the exhibiting of tigers and pandas, among other animals.
The aquarium has been making headlines since February, when media outlets and animal rights groups turned their attention to the exhibit and its horrendous conditions – including a polar bear enclosure that has been described as “deplorable.”
Despite the huge amount of controversy Ocean World has caused, the “prison for animals” is reportedly still planning to go ahead with “Phase Two.”
The expansion is projected to cost RMB154.3 million and will cover 5905 square meters, according to local media reports. Phase Two is expected to be completed in January 2017.
When completed Grandview Mall will host an astounding 8,435 animals, including 335 small animals, 43 large animals, 3,000 butterflies, 2,000 bees and 2,000 ants, as well a snake and other creatures.
Of the large animals the facility is going to house, there will be two giant pandas, two red pandas, two white tigers, four kangaroos, six raccoons, 10 white-handed gibbons, six alpacas and 20 meerkats.
Grandview Mall is not the first shopping center in China to try their hand at exhibiting animals, that honor (read: disgrace) lies with Raffles City Mall in Dongzhimen, Beijing, which had a short-lived ‘zoo’ back in September 2014.