Management of a popular zoo in Guanxi, China has said it is investigating complaints about its staff having glued a basket on the carapace of an African spurred tortoise to serve as a collection bow into which visitors to the zoo can throw coins.

According to, throwing coins at specific objects, from temple bells and statues to aeroplane engines before a flight is believed to bring good luck in certain jurisdictions.

In a subtle attempt to take advantage of this superstitious belief, Nanning Zoo located in the provincial capital of Guangxi glued the basket on the carapace of the tortoise.

Some animal rights activists view it as cruelty to the animal in the first place, while others also thought it was a surreptitious attempt to swindle the zoo visitors.

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A social media user named “Tea-tia” posted photos of the basket-carrying tortoise on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter and called on the Chinese media and the National Forestry Bureau to investigate the zoo.

“I don’t know why the zoo would use this method to exhibit precious animals,” Tea-tia expressed reservation.

He claimed to have witnessed the bizarre thing when they were taken during the National Day holiday.

Reports say the spokesperson for Nanning Zoo told Pear Video that management of the tourist attraction site has initiated an investigation into the matter.