Netizens Outraged at Harsh Treatment of Pandas
Footage showed zookeepers tossing, dragging and pushing several panda cubs
Chinese netizens are once again on the warpath after a video emerged appearing to show zookeepers in Chengdu mistreating pandas.
The heavily edited video was released by Weibo user “Yi Xilan” on July 12th and shows two male zookeepers trying to prevent pandas from escaping their enclosure. In the clip the zookeepers can be seen wrestling, pushing, throwing and dropping the pandas several times.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding attempted to justify the pandas’ treatment by stating that shortly after eating, two of the pandas were excitable and wanted to play with the zookeepers. During the course of trying to control the pandas, two zookeepers were bitten and scratched. They were later sent to hospital to receive shots.
In a statement a spokesperson for the Research base stated: “people on the internet only saw the zookeepers using force to drag the pandas, they didn’t see that the zookeepers had been injured and were bleeding. However, in this instance we believe that the zookeepers did act inappropriately in an attempt to contain the pandas and avoid being bitten again. They should have been gentler."
The offending zookeepers
Netizens have heavily criticised the three zookeepers, with many claiming that It was obvious the “workers have a bad attitude and approach to their job," and that they weren't "even exhibiting the slightest bit of patience or compassion.”
The zookeepers confirmed that they have seen the footage, with one of them, Xie Huhai, stating: “The 50-minute process was edited down into a clip that was just under 2 minutes long and that makes it look like we were being very cruel to the pandas.” The zookeepers, all of whom graduated last year, also told journalists that “we haven’t checked Weibo, our colleagues all told us not to go online and definitely not to look at what people were saying about us.”
Watch the clip below:
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