Naypyidaw Zoo MyanmarMyanmar Naypyidaw Zoo
Burma's decadent zoo is full of forgeries.
Naypyidaw was clandestinely constructed by the Myanmar army in the early 2000s. His acknowledgement as Burma's new capitol in 2005 has surprised everyone - both the global fellowship and the country's citizens. Soon after the town was inaugurated, tens of thousands of civil servants, soldiers and the entire administration abandoned the former Yangon capitol to settle 200 leagues further north in Mandalay.
It costs the state more than five billion US Dollar. The year 2012, when I reported on the Rangoun election in Burma, I took a parade to the town where the Myanmar never really resided. Naypyidaw is home to 930,000 inhabitants according to state records, but according to several reports the actual numbers are much lower.
When I got there, I realized there wasn't much to do, so I wasted my precious stone visit to an abandoned gem shop, an abandoned mall, play a game of golf on an abandoned course and visit the only zoo in town. Everything in Naypyidaw, from luxury restaurants and malls to this sculptural Leopard, seems man-made - and silly.
It is a shop window of a place that should not yet be used. So I found myself in the zoo of Naypyidaw on a very hot evening. Located in the north-east of the citys northeast, between a football ground under development and a state-of-the-art airfield (where no multinational corporation operates), the Naypyidaw Zoo mirrors the delusions of grandeur that the gendarmes have maintained since 1962.
Because of the filthy glass of the pencil I could see some sick penguines squashing in standing waters next to swimming wastes. Returning to Rangoun, a boyfriend of mine said the Penguin was filled with live penguin food that had been brought in by airplane from China - an outlay the Burmese state would never pay for its people.
Does the Myanmar army consider Rohingya women sexual bondwors? Naypyidaw safaris cost more than the monthly salaries in Burma. Situated in the northeast of the town, the Naypyidaw Zoo, where tiger are standing next to chilen Penguin, is as unhealthful as paradox.
Former Burma Junior Commander-in-Chief Than Shwe is behind the foundation of the new Burma capitol. A real desert, he never even consulting the Myanmar population until he spent more than $5 billion to keep his spirits up. Out of the garden, staff (mostly women) receive less than $2 a days to cut the lawn and grow them.
Whilst the outside temperatures are almost 115°C, the penguines are stored in a cooled pencil with a strong smell of muck. These little pinguins are foddered with Chinese freshwater seafood in a land where the people are struggling for a good diet. Naypyidaw is a haunted place with its laughable demographics (less than 100,000 people for a place three time the size of Paris and its suburbs).