Three panda keepers have been accused of treating bear cubs poorly. The two-minutes video emerged on social media showing them dragging, dropping and throwing two bear cubs on the ground.
China’s main panda breeding base, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda, said that its workers were trying to keep the cubs inside their enclosure and the workers were scratched and bit by the baby pandas during the process.
Workers at a Chinese panda base have been condemned for their brutal treatment of cubs
Keepers at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda were caught throwing cubs around
The video was first posted on Weibo by a user name ‘Yi Xi Lan’ on July 12 who called the after keepers ‘rude’.
The lover said in the post that it would be ‘understandable’ if keepers had to drag or throw cubs ‘for a couple of times’.
‘However in the live-streaming today, Rou Rou and Man Man (the cubs’ nicknames) were repeatedly thrown onto the ground. I can’t bear it.’
The video soon sparked among Chinese web users.
Many people were angry and critisiced the way the keepers treated the animals and called their behaviour ‘unacceptable’ and ‘brutal’.
However, some people questioned the authenticity of the footage and claimed the uploader had purposefully sped up the video.
There were also viewers saying pandas could be fierce sometimes and the way the keepers treated the cubs was understandable.
The footage was widely shared after a web user uploaded it onto the Chinese social media
The web user couldn’t bear to see the cubs being handled so rudely, according to the post
In an interview with Chengdu Business Daily, a spokesman from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda said the incident took place at around 6pm on July 12.
The base said that the cubs were acting excitedly and had injured the workers. It said it was a pity that some people had condemned the keepers.
Three of their keepers were feeding four cubs, namely Meilan, Jilan, Yuanyue and Yuanman, that evening.
After they finished eating, the keepers were tasked to move Yuanman and Jilan into a separate enclosure to prepare for a medical checkup on the next day.
The spokesman said Yuanyue and Meilan wanted to follow their playmates and keepers had a hard time keeping them inside the room, and that was when the workers dragged the bears by force.
While dealing with the cubs all of the workers were said to be injured, which were ‘highly excited’.
The base said the keepers did not have ill intentions, but their movements were ‘too forceful and too quickly’.
The workers’ behaviour was deemed ‘inappropriate’ by the base.
Many people called the keeper’s behaviour ‘unacceptable’ and ‘brutal’ after seeing the video
However, some people challenged the authenticity of the footage and said it had been sped up
The panda base said the workers were trying to keep the cubs inside their enclosure. They also said the cubs injured the workers by scratching and biting them. The keepers have apologised
Publicly, all the three workers apologised through Chengdu Business Daily.
The whole incident occurred in the space of 50 minutes, and the video had been edited down to just two minutes, which did not reflect the real situation.
The keepers had formed a very close bond with the pandas after becoming their ‘mummies and daddies’.
The director admitted that they had acted too forcefully and vowed to take care of the animals more gently.
Further investigation is still being carried out by the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base.
Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base is the world’s largest artificial breeding population of captive pandas.
According to its website, the base has 113 giant pandas.
Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base is the world’s largest artificial breeding population of captive pandas. Pictured, a veterinarian holds the two twin cubs at the base on June 30