Beijing Zoo responded to a viral video of stones being thrown at Meng Da, a giant panda under their care, saying the panda was unharmed and promising to upgrade security.
The video, which has reached more than 100 million views on Weibo, depicted Meng Da sitting outside the Panda House as stones fell near him. In the video, outraged visitors can be heard asking who threw the stones, but receive no response. According to the videographer, the offenders threw the stones to wake the panda up.
Beijing Zoo responded to the video on Weibo, stating they examine the pandas every day and sent experts to check on Meng Da immediately after the incident was reported. Fortunately, the panda was unharmed and the zoo is already researching the best way to upgrade security around the panda.
Beijing law forbids threatening or injuring zoo animals and consequences are subject to a fine of RMB100 and possible criminal charges. However, no punishments have been confirmed in this case.
This is not the first time that animals in Chinese zoos have been mistreated by visitors. Last year, visitors to a zoo in southern China killed a kangaroo by throwing bricks at it to make it hop. The animal died days after it was hit with bricks and chunks of concrete from a ruptured kidney. Unfortunately, the perpetrators got away with it and went unpunished.
In another case, Chinese tourists at a nature reserve in northwest China also threw stones at a giant panda. Fortunately, these offenders were caught by staff and were subsequently blacklisted from the reserve.
[Cover image via Pixabay]