Tourists Caught On Camera Hurling Rocks At Panda
Posted on November 6th 2019
Tourists visiting Beijing Zoo in China were caught on film hurling rocks at a giant panda in his exposure and the footage was posted on social media site Weibo. The video shows at least one individual throwing rocks towards the Meng Da a seven-year old giant panda residing in the enclosure. The species is considered a national treasure in the country. According to newspaper reports the video drew more than 100 million views, with one poster suggesting the tourists were attempting to “wake the panda up.”
Panda was unhurt
Beijing Zoo responded to the footage by posting on its profile that Meg Da was healthy, playing and eating well. The zoo added pandas are constantly examined by inspectors and breeders, as many times as twice a day. Patrols and breeders were sent to examine Meng Da immediately after the incident came to light, to make sure everything was okay. The zoo says it intends to upgrade its giant panda facilities and will strengthen patrols in the areas.
Visitors and tour operators banned
Zoo officials have appealed to visitors to stay well behaved whilst at the zoo and to refrain from feeding or throwing things at the animals. One newspaper report suggested that the tourists responsible for the incident were with a tour group from X’ian and have now been banned. The tour company is also on probation. Panda’s International says there are less than 2,200 giant pandas globally and of those, 1,864 are in the wild most of which are in Southwestern China.
Pandas can weigh up to 353 pounds and measure up to five-feet in length. They can eat as much as 50 pounds of bamboo each day and live between 15 to 20 years in the wild, with that increasing to between 25 to 35 years in captivity. As the human population grows in the panda’s native region, there has been dramatic degradation of habitat and food supply.
Survival of the species at risk
There is significant risk to biodiversity and the magnificent species which has managed to survive the ice age and beyond is now at serious risk of extinction. This means it is crucial that each living panda survives, if the species is remain. That includes every panda in captivity and in the wild needs to be looked after daily when they are sick or injured.