Sichuan panda base bans visitors for bad behavior

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A number of people have been barred from a panda sanctuary in Sichuan province, or have received warnings, for uncivilized behavior during the May Day holiday.

Breaches triggering these kinds of penalties included throwing items like candy wrappers or bottled water at China's much-loved national treasure.

Others have been punished because they failed to police their children's behavior, or even indulged it, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding stated.

One 65-year-old was banned from visiting the sanctuary for life after she threw a corncob into an outdoor space, that was eaten by a panda, according to statements posted by the sanctuary on its WeChat account.

"After observation, the panda is in normal condition," it said.

Another 38-year-old woman subject to the boycott was found on Friday throwing bamboo shoots into an outdoor rest area for adult pandas, according to statements posted by the sanctuary on its WeChat account.

A 55-year-old woman was caught throwing candy wrappers into the area the same day, the statements said.

In both cases, the staff immediately removed the items before any harm could occur, and criticized those involved on the spot. The two women have been banned from visiting the sanctuary for a year.

Those penalized also include visitors with children.

The sanctuary said that a 37-year-old man helped a child climb over a fence last Tuesday and threw a bottle of water into an outdoor space for adult pandas.

He was banned from visiting for a year.

The same day, another child threw plastic bottles into the area, and the child's caretaker, a 29-year-old woman, was given a "serious warning".

"Since it was the minor's first breach, they received a severe warning. If the child violates the rules again, both they and their guardian will be banned from the park for a year," the park said in a statement.

On Saturday, after the conclusion of the May Day holiday, a 42-year-old woman was banned from visiting the park for a year after her child was about to throw potato chip packets into an area inhabited by young pandas before being stopped by animal workers.

The woman was also required to sign a written promise to behave in a civilized manner on future visits after the ban expires.

"The park management reminds the public once again to follow regulations, respect the animals and observe good behavior while visiting the park," the sanctuary said.

In captivity, the pandas' diets are closely monitored to ensure that they are balanced and meet all of their needs. This usually involves supplementing bamboo with other nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables and specially made pellets.

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