Giant panda that ate trash is in good condition: zoo

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A giant panda that ate garbage thrown away by tourists, sparking widespread controversy in the past couple of days, is in good condition, said the Taiyuan Zoo in Shanxi province.

A giant panda at Taiyuan Zoo eats garbage thrown away by tourists. [Photo/]

A giant panda at Taiyuan Zoo eats garbage thrown away by tourists. [Photo/]

On the afternoon of Oct. 5, a netizen posted photos online, showing the panda house at Taiyuan Zoo littered with snacks, water bottles, beverage cans and plastic bags. An adult giant panda was eating the refuse thrown away by tourists and no one was trying to stop it.

Soon afterwards, China's State Forestry Administration and the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center ordered the zoo to investigate the incident.

According to the Center, the giant panda involved in the incident belonged to the center and was named "Shunshun." The male panda was born on August 27, 2013 and arrived at the zoo on Oct. 18, 2015 on a three-year show, it was added.

The zoo said late on Oct. 6 that the online post was accurate and that workers had cleaned up all the garbage and disinfected the panda house and its surrounding area. The giant panda has been under observation indoors and is in good condition, it stated.

According to the Taiyuan Zoo, it received a total of 34,000 visitors on Oct. 5, with the number of visitors to the panda house reaching 15,000, an increase of 20 percent over the same period last year.

Huang Xiaoning, publicity chief at the zoo, said two keepers, together with two security guards, constantly patrolled the panda house and tried to stop tourists from feeding the pandas that day, but failed because there were so many people littering.

The zoo promised it would make improvements to create safer living conditions for the animals there.

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