All animals are equal. (Photo/Xinhua)
Candidates applying for one of 15 zookeeper positions at Guangzhou Zoo are being asked for basic proficiency in Marxism-Leninism, the fundamental ideology of the country's ruling Communist Party, according to the city's Yangcheng Evening News.
Written exams include questions on park management, animal behavior — and perhaps most vitally — Marxist-Leninist thought. The candidates also must be familiar with the thought of Chinese leaders including Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin.
The policy predictably soon came under fire from internet users. "Can they take care of animals with communist thought?" asked a netizen called lanX. Another internet used going by the handle Lawyer Ma Wenbin said, "The party is now trying to arm animals with Marxism-Leninism."
Some netizens also suggested that the future zookeepers teach tigers, monkeys and elephants lessons from China's Communist revolution when they are disobedient. Others have expressed amusement on finding that China's grand experiment with communism includes not only human guinea pigs but also real ones.
A spokesperson for the zoo replied to the flurry of feedback by saying that the political questions were tagged onto the test by another department.
A possible merit of being versed in the system is the prospect of breeding communist pigs, as was previously attempted during the Cultural Revolution.
Needless to say, George Orwell's Animal Farm is not on the required reading list.