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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

13 Hilarious “Product Reviews” of Your Favorite Zoo Animals

Some people just can't "Yelp" themselves as these reviews of wild animals prove.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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animals reviewed book #rateaspeciesCourtesy Timber Press


It all began in March 2018 with an irreverent take on the Internet’s penchant for reviewing…well, everything. The Oregon Zoo irreverently tweeted this purported review of the sea otter (giving it 4 stars, presumably out of 5), along with the hashtag, #Rateaspecies. The hashtag went viral and spawned a full-length book by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums: Animals Reviewed, a cute compendium of the funniest “product reviews” of animals (culled from the creative minds at 230 member zoos) with proceeds benefiting the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s mission to advance animal welfare, public engagement, and conservation. Find out the best zoo in your state.

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hilarious product reviews animal cheetahCourtesy Timber Press

Cheetah *****

FASTER THAN EXPECTED! This thing tops out at highway speeds in seconds… Runs on just ground meat. Bonus: it purrs louder than my ’85 Buick.

Well, if speed is the most important criteria, then this review of the cheetah is “spot” on. Indigenous to Africa, the Cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal, capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds. To put that in perspective? The cheetah is faster than a Lamborghini. Sadly, the Cheetah is in danger of extinction as are these 14 other animals that could disappear in your lifetime.

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hilarious product reviews animal giant pandaCourtesy Timber Press

Giant panda *

Says it runs on bamboo, but no matter how much I feed it, it always ends up in sleep mode. Also has so much personality I’m still not convinced it’s not just a person in a bear suit.

Welp, that just means there’ll be more pandas for us, and it matters because the giant panda is at risk of extinction, with fewer than 2,000 left in the world. With the capacity to grow as large as 330 pounds, the giant panda has to consume as much as 84 pounds of bamboo per day. These 13 fun facts about pandas will make you love them even more.

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hilarious product reviews animal northern saw whet owlCourtesy Timber Press

Northern Saw-whet owl *****

This stylish little unit is amazing. Sound quality A+….Top rotates, which is a plus.

The Northern Saw-whet owl, a tiny little species of owl with cat-like eyes, may look adorable, but don’t be fooled: if you’re a mouse or other tiny woodland animal, this guy won’t hesitate to eat your face off. If you’re hiking in the woods and you’d like to see one, you’re best off listening for its telltale too-too-too call (unless you’re a mouse, in which case, you’d best keep your distance). Find out 10 things you never knew about these amazing birds.

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hilarious product reviews animal blue and yellow macawCourtesy Timber Press

Blue-and-yellow macaw ***

I ordered an audio recorder and received this….Playback feature sometimes doesn’t work, and there is no volume control. I decided to keep it because of the cool colors.

The blue-and-yellow macaw is, indeed, a bit of recording device, but it is also, as the reviewer noted, much more useful as an object of physical beauty. Vibrantly colored, these birds are, as their name suggests, blue and yellow, but they’re also highlighted with bright green, yellow-orange, and black.

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hilarious product reviews animal sichuan takinCourtesy Timber Press

Sichuan Takin ***

Still not sure what I purchased—resembles a combination of a goat and a moose? The ears appear to be installed upside down. Climbed up on the roof and won’t come down.

The Sichuan Takin (pronounced TOCK-inn) is a unique antelope-like goat species, according to the St. Louis Zoo. While it shares a habitat with the giant panda, the male (known as a Takin bull) can weigh 800 pounds when fully grown (the female tops off at about 500). As the reviewer notes, it’s a climber and spends much of its time in herds, roaming the dense bamboo forests of China.

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hilarious product reviews animal giant pacific octopusCourtesy Timber Press

Giant Pacific octopus****

This waterproof model expands to cover large spaces; customizable coloring blends easily with any décor. Eight arms equipped with suction cups secure to any surface.

The Giant Pacific octopus is the biggest species of octopus—the world record stands at 30 feet in diameter and 600 pounds, although the average size is 16 feet and 110 pounds. Although generally reddish-brown, they can use their pigment cells to change colors and textures to blend into nearby rocks and coral and other plants. Check out these 12 other totally weird creatures that inhabit the deepest waters of our planet.

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okapi hilarious product reviews animalCourtesy Timber Press

Okapi *****

Ears feel like velvet, and the 14-inch tongue reaches top pantry shelf with no problem. Delighted to finally have one of these special models.

The Okapi was only discovered by Western scientists in 1900. With black and white stripes on its legs and backside, it could easily be confused for a zebra (at least from behind). Nevertheless, it’s more closely related to the giraffe, with a long tongue, excellent hearing, a triangular head, and a unique sense of smell attuned to scent-emitting glands on its feet.

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hilarious product reviews animal black bearCourtesy Timber Press

Black bear ****

Name misleading—not dark black as marketed. Be careful not to leave any leftovers out.

The black bear is the most well-known and populous of all North American bears. Despite their name, black bears can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, or even (very rarely) white. Excellent tree climbers, they’re also “very opportunistic” eaters.” While their diet is largely herbivorous, they’re more than happy to partake in human food when tempted (to their detriment, since bears who wander into human territory are not only dangerous to humans but make themselves an easy target to humans). Should you be confronted by a bear, here’s what to do next.

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hilarious product reviews animal clownfishCourtesy Timber Press

Clownfish *

INCORRECTLY LABELED – Didn’t know a single knock-knock joke! Not funny at all.

Perhaps this disappointed customer didn’t get the memo that Finding Nemo wasn’t actually about a clownfish, but a “false clownfish.” Or perhaps they didn’t realize that clownfish don’t actually tell jokes. What clownfish are more likely to be seen doing is dancing, according to National Geographic. They also have the ability to change their gender (but only from male to female, and only when they stand to become the dominant female in their school). Don’t miss 20 of the most incredible underwater photos ever taken.

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hilarious product reviews animal golden lion tamarinCourtesy Timber Press

Golden lion tamarin **

While the color, mane, and teeth are spectacular and very lion-like, product is much smaller than expected. Instead of roaring nobly, emits a high-pitched scream.

Buyer beware, as they say. The golden lion tamarins may be labeled somewhat misleadingly. This golden-maned beauty isn’t a lion or even a cat, for that matter. It’s in the primate family, and, as the reviewer notes, doesn’t roar, but screams like monkeys do. Find out how many types of monkeys there are in the world.

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moon jelly hilarious product reviews animalCourtesy Timber Press

Moon jelly ***

STRANGE FLAVOR but pretty to look at. Would prefer grape or strawberry. Can’t figure out how anyone would spread this on toast.

In another case of misleading labeling, the moon jelly isn’t actually “jelly” but jellyfish. That said, the reviewer probably had the right instinct in eating it. In fact, many moon jellies are destined to be eaten, at least by fish and turtles. But don’t feel sorry for the moon jelly: this is one species that is benefiting from global warming, pollution, and over-fishing, all of which combine to reduce the population of their predators. Find out 12 of the most dangerous animal bites you can get.

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hilarious product reviews animal chilean flamingoCourtesy Timber Press

Chilean flamingo **

OBVIOUS SCAM – I thought flamingos were supposed to be tall and pink. Instead, I received a white fluffball with short little legs.

Nope, sorry, no scam here. The Chilean flamingo is, in fact, a flamingo. Sure the Chilean is smaller than the more commonly known Carribean, but it eats with its bill upside down just like all other flamingos, which can trace their ancestors 10 million years back (wonder if the unhappy reviewer can do that). It’s also pink (albeit pale-pink), just all the other flamingos. Here’s why (most) flamingos are pink.

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sandbar shark hilarious product reviews animalCourtesy Timber Press

Sandbar shark *****

We’re not going to leave a biting review here; this thing is totally jaw-some! It is pretty sharp on one end but still surprisingly safe.

As its name suggests, the sandbar shark hangs around sandy and muddy flats in bays along the Atlantic coast of the United States. Recognizable by a large pectoral fin and mid-dorsal ridge, the sandbar shark is rarely a threat to humans, preferring seafood like fish, crab, shrimp, and octopi. On the other hand, humans are a threat to the continued existence of the sandbar shark. Read on to learn about 22 animals that are deadlier than sharks.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.