The flood of holidaymakers in Chinese capital has forced animals and staff at the Beijing Zoo to work overtime during the week-long May Day holidays.
Animals, including pandas, can rest only after 6:30 p.m., 30 minutes late than usual as on an average one lakh people are pouring in daily, says vice general manager of the zoo Wang Baoqiang.
All animals and employees have to work overtime as the zoo has extended its opening hours during the first week of May. "There's been a surge of tourists starting from last Monday, particularly people from outside Beijing," said Wang.
"But it's crucial to keep the animals healthy and make sure their biological clock is not disturbed." More than 200 zoo workers are on duty each day to take care of the animals and people. "This is four times as many as on normal weekdays because we need to make sure the visiting crowds are safe too," he said.
Nearly all Beijing tourist destinations have placed extra security staff for safety considerations.
At the "Happy Valley", a Disneyland-style entertainment centre in eastern Beijing, young security guards had learnt to conjure up ducks out of balloons to amuse the long queues of children waiting impatiently for their turns on the roller coaster.
Sightseeing in Beijing is anything but comfortable these days with the jostling crowds and sizzling temperature that has topped 30 degrees Celsius, the highest in the last four decade.