World-famous Chinese panda centre denies mistreating animals

Claims made online dismissed by the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 January, 2018, 5:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 January, 2018, 5:53pm

A world-famous panda research centre in southwest China has rejected allegations that it mistreated some of its animals.

The base has also dismissed claims it profited by charging visitors to hug pandas and wasted public money on luxurious offices.

The Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province said the claims posted online were seriously at odds with the facts.

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A message posted and widely shared on social media in China said that more than 20 pandas at the base appeared to have an infection that made the pandas’ famous black eye circles bald and appear grey and that the centre had not treated their ailment properly.

The post, written under the username Aimao1024, or lovepandas1024, added that one animal, Meng Meng was kept in too small an enclosure, causing psychological problems.

Another panda Fu Lai, it said, was also missing after visitors had spotted it in poor health.

Yet another panda, Meng Meng’s daughter Meng Lan, reportedly suffered from a spinal cord infection, the post said.

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The centre has issued a statement saying some pandas are suffering from an ailment, but experts are working to identify it, find the cause and treat it.

It added that Fu Lai had a intestinal obstruction and was undergoing surgery, Meng Meng was kept in a normal enclosure that met all national standards, and that Meng Lan had recovered after an operation.

The centre also denied charging visitors to hold animals or wasting money on offices.