23 January 2019
Donald Duck, with Chip and Dale, providing entertainment at the Shanghai Disneyland. Photo: YouTube
Donald Duck, with Chip and Dale, providing entertainment at the Shanghai Disneyland. Photo: YouTube

Even Donald Duck and Banna the Elephant can’t stand the heat

Think it’s unbearably hot in Hong Kong these days?

Well, if it would make you feel a bit better, it’s arguably hotter in Shanghai, one of the most populous cities in the world with 24 million residents. On July 21st, the temperature soared to 40.9 degrees Celsius, the hottest day ever in the city over the past 145 years.

The city is being roasted literally under the heat wave. Last Friday, it was reported that Donald Duck had fainted at Shanghai Disneyland, sparking a frenzy of online discussions.

On Weibo a mainland netizen (“Call me Sister Sunney”) posted a video showing a collapsed Donald Duck during a midday parade with Mickey Mouse.

A spokesman for the theme park confirmed the news, saying Mr. Donald was feeling unwell that day but he is now back to work after a brief rest. In fact, he is now playing tai-chi in the park. 

Isn’t that cruelty to staff? It’s a health issue, really. At the least they should be given extra compensation.

Many netizens agreed, saying it’s inhumane to force crew members to don suffocating, thermal costumes and parade under a scorching sun.

Others praised them for their work ethic and professionalism, noting that they performed their task to bring fun and cheer to the crowds under the most forbidding circumstances.

For the record, it was 37 degrees on August 4th, with an orange high-temperature warning issued at 9:25 a.m., short of the 40 degrees threshold where all outdoor activities have to stop.

Donald Duck was not the only victim of the brutal heat wave. On Monday, Banna, a beloved 53-year-old elephant at the Shanghai Zoo, also fell down because of a heat stroke.

The poor creature had to be lifted by a crane before being sent to hospital on a 25-liter drip.

Thank God, Banna recovered fast, and is now able to stand up and eat. But he’s still pretty cranky when people come close to him.

So a friendly reminder: try to avoid getting into an argument or getting too close to animals and people when the weather is hot.

Back here in Hong Kong, we hope the managers of our Disneyland and Ocean Park – and the visitors, too – will try to be a bit more considerate when dealing with their human and non-human crews.

It’s during times like this that we should be kind to each other.

Luckily, there are rains this week, but how long should we suffer the heat? It just turned autumn in the Chinese calendar.

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EJ Insight writer

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