On February 9, a young girl got too close for comfort to some of China's beloved giant pandas.
The 8-year-old girl fell into an enclosure at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province on Saturday, and hundreds of park visitors watched as security personnel helped lift the frightened girl out of the panda pit.
Screengrab via QQ
A video of the girl inside the enclosure has gone viral online, showing two giant pandas slowly approach within 5 meters of the child. Another panda arrived shortly after as the lazy bears passively watched the rescue mission take place.
You can watch park security help pull the girl out of the panda enclosure below (VPN off):
Click here to view the video on Youtube.
According to Chengdu Business Daily, the young girl fell over the railing surrounding the panda exhibit while her family stood behind her. After she tumbled into the 2-meter-deep pit, visitors began screaming, inadvertently drawing the attention of the pandas. Park security first attempted to pull her out with a bamboo rod, but to no avail. In the end, one guard reached down and managed to lift the girl out of the pit using his arms.
Fortunately, the young girl and the giant pandas all came away unharmed from the scary encounter.
While giant pandas are widely regarded as docile animals, there are multiple cases of giant panda attacks on humans. In 2009, a 32-year-old man suffered severe lacerations to his left foot and right elbow joint after he was bitten by a giant panda. The man had reportedly fallen into the giant panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding issued a reminder on their official Weibo account after the incident, writing “Giant pandas are considered large fierce animals... Please have a high level of caution when visiting, and don’t leave the safe area.”
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is one of the world’s most famous panda conservation sites and is used for both research and educational tourism. The site receives millions of tourists annually both from China and around the world.
READ MORE: Meet Long Zai, Guangzhou's Newest Baby Panda
[Cover image: screengrab via QQ]