Outrage in China over cruelty to pandas seen in online video

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 29, 2017

The video which was allegedly recorded at a research facility in Chengdu, China shows two giant panda cubs being mistreated at a research facility in China, drawing both criticism and derision from many around the world, according to a report by BBC.

"The video has fuelled heated discussion and many are outraged by the mistreatment of the animals, seen as national treasures of China", Xinhua reported.

An official from the facility, which Xinhua spoke to, have defended the keepers and said that pandas can become violent, despite "looking cute". "When we saw the video, we thought the staff members had overreacted, even though they meant no harm to the pandas", said Wu Kongju, a panda expert at the base, quoted in the Chinese state media Xinhua.

The panda keepers denied the accusations of cruelty and said they believed the footage had been edited to show them in an unflattering light.

"It bit my hand really hard, its teeth cut into the flesh and my hand started bleeding", Mr Guo said. "When it tried to bite me again, I pushed it away out of instinct".

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Guo said his hand still bore marks of the bite two weeks after the incident.

The agency cited one of the keepers involved as saying that a panda suddenly became violent as he was feeding the cubs.

Another panda keeper, Xie Huhai, said panda keepers often have to endure bites and scratches from "playful" cubs. But the Chengdu center's reaction failed to placate some of the irate viewers. "It made me so angry to watch him throw a defenseless cub around".

"I don't care what he has to say, they were just babies", a Beijing-based user said.

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