Every once in a while I review the awesome figures generated by the arrival of the Annexationist Herbivores at the Taipei Zoo. Last year I scribed:
Heh. It was four years ago this month that the Annexation Lardbombs exploded at the Taipei Zoo. They were delivered on Dec 23, 2008, and went on display a month later, to a brief flurry of absolute madness. Profoundly political and not the least bit a demonstration of goodwill, they were handled as a "domestic transfer" under CITES, one of the many quiet ways that the Ma government has capitulated to Beijing, as my round-up post above notes. They were named "Reunification" in Chinese. The Zoo's annual budget for them was over a million US$, and it wasted $10 million US on the enclosure for them, according to AP.It's now been over five years. Meanwhile, let's once again review those promises from the heady days of late 2008.
Zoo officials expect the two giant pandas to attract more than 6 million visitors in the first year, saying they will issue numbered slips to visitors at the panda hall to prevent them from waiting in long lines.(TT)Here's the data, through 2013. I can't find the 2014 visitor data on the zoo website in any language -- the 2013 data didn't come out until Dec of 2014 in English. Obviously, the visitor level is roughly what it was prior to the panda arrival, which means that these lolling lardbombs have done nada for overall zoo attendance. Indeed, attendance actually fell from 2009 levels over the next three years, bouncing back only in 2013. The Zoo is nowhere near the levels it was in the early 2000s, despite the tourism boosts. Just too much competition for the leisure dollar, I expect. But where are the 6 million visitors for the pandas? Somewhere back in the 1990s, perhaps...
UPDATE: Someone found the numbers for me. Looks like we got a 2014 kick for the baby lardbomb. Still nowhere near 6 million.
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