Did you know that pandas spend around 16 hours a day sleeping? This sweet panda bear was catching some daily ZZZ’s at the Beijing Zoo in China, when two tourists decided to be rude AF and throw rocks at it.
In China, pandas represent peace and friendship – and that’s about as far as you can get from the actions of these zoo visitors.
The act was caught on film by another visitor who said the pair of rock throwers were trying to “wake up” the sleeping panda.
The original video was uploaded to Weibo where it quickly received over 100 million views.
Pandas are known for their sweet and gentle temperaments, and this panda proved its sweet side by simply getting up and turning its back to the rock throwers.
The seven-year-old panda’s name is Meng Da. According to the state-owned China Daily, which referenced The Beijing News, Meng Da is doing well, appears healthy and is eating normally and playing since the incident.
“We have constant inspectors and breeders to examine the pandas twice every day in the zoo and we sent patrols and breeders to check the situation of ‘Meng Da’ immediately to make sure that everything was good with the panda,” the zoo said.
Some people say the panda didn’t even look like it was sleeping. Instead, it was just lazily going about its day and the two bored zoo visitors were simply trying to get a rise out of it.
The Beijing Zoo has plans to upgrade their panda facilities in the coming months. They also plan to increase patrol officers in the area to keep pandas safe from these types of incidents moving forward.
Officials have warned visitors to be on good behavior while viewing all animals at the zoo and to avoid feeding them or throwing things at them.
The rock-tossing tourists belonged to a tour group from X’ian. They have since been officially banned from visiting the Beijing Zoo. In addition, the tour company is on a probation period from visiting the zoo.
The 38-second clip shows one individual throwing a rock at the panda, followed by another.
The panda didn’t seem too fazed by the whole thing. Meng Da simply stood up and moved away from the area.
According to a spokesperson for the zoo who spoke with the Beijing News, zoo animal keepers immediately rushed over to the panda enclosure when it happened on Saturday to keep any other tourists from throwing rocks or other objects into the enclosure.
The video was captured at the old panda pavilion, which was built back in 1989 to celebrate the 1990 Asian Games hosted at the Chinese capital.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that an incident like this has unfolded.
According to CCTV News, in July of 2018, tourists visiting a reserve in Foping county, Hanzhong, Shaanxi province, were given the boot after they were caught throwing rocks at a panda.
The campaign group Pandas International reports that there are fewer than 2,200 giant pandas left in the world, 1,864 of which live in the wild and 376 live in captivity.
In the 1970s, there were 2,459 wild giant pandas with zero living in captivity. By 1985, that number dropped to 1,114.
These beautiful creatures can grow between 165 and 353 pounds, reaching up to five feet in length. Each day, giant pandas consume around 25 to 50 pounds of bamboo.
On average, they live between 15 and 20 years in the wild, and 25 to 35 years in captivity. Their natural habitat is in southwestern China.
“Increasing human population in the giant panda’s native region has resulted in a dramatic degradation of habitat and food supply. The biodiversity of the region is at significant risk,” reports Pandas International.
“This magnificent animal, a survivor of the ice age and centuries beyond, is now in grave danger of extinction. The survival of each living panda becomes crucial to the survival of the species; each animal, those in captivity and in the wild, must be attended to on a daily basis if they are sick or injured.”