China (Sputnik) – Visitors to a zoo in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province have been sneaking over its walls with help from locals to avoid paying full price for a ticket – despite the death of a tourist who similarly snuck into another zoo earlier this year.
The group of locals has been charging tight-wad tourists around half the 100 yuan ($16) entrance fee to Qinling Wildlife Park just outside the city of Xi’an.
A woman peddling binoculars at the zoo’s main gate offered reporters from the local Chinese Business View access to the park for 60 yuan.
The secret entrance involved being taken to a village adjacent to the park and climbing over a wall with a ladder.
Although the woman claimed the entrance is as good as a ticket, tourists who have taken up on the deal disagree.
“Without a ticket, you can’t access many spots at the park,” said a tourist surnamed Wang who opted for the discounted entrance in March.
Park employees said it has so far proven difficult to track down the group behind the scam.
One of the largest of Northwest China, Qinling Wildlife Park boasts Bengal tigers and a large, free-range “Predator Zone” that is home to lions, bears and wolves, according to the park’s official website.
But neither the wild animals nor news of a death from a similar stunt earlier this year at another zoo have deterred tourists from trying to sneak into the park.
In January, a man was mauled to death by a tiger after he climbed multiple walls into the Ningbo Youngor Zoo, East China’s Zhejiang Province.
A ticket to the park costs 130 yuan, according to news reports.
This report prepared by Sputnik