Little Girl Accidentally Falls Into Panda Enclosure In Sichuan, China
A family's vacation to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a facility for giant pandas and other rare animals in China, quickly turned into a frightening experience over the weekend. A young girl, believed to be of primary school age, fell into a panda enclosure causing a momentary panic at the facility. The girl fell into a ditch that was about six feet deep. The ditch where the girl fell was also right beside a group of Panda bears. An onlooker managed to take a video of the entire encounter, which included the daring rescue attempts conducted by the facility's personnel.
The video also captured the moment when one of the bears tried to approach the crying little girl as a crowd of people watched in horror. Fortunately, the bear seemed to be curious more than anything else and made no attempt to climb down the ditch to get to the girl. Several onlookers and personnel attempted to rescue the girl by using a thin pole. The attempt unfortunately failed and several bears started to gather near the helpless child. A security guard squeezed himself through a gap in the fence and was finally able to pull the girl out to safety.
A report published by the Beijing Youth Daily revealed that the incident may have been avoided had the facility implemented more stringent safety measures to protect its visitors. Staff members of the research facility defended their current safety measures and stated that the railings were high enough that it was impossible for someone to fall in unless they actually climbed it.
People who saw the video on social media quickly disproved the staff member's statement by pointing out that the video clearly showed that the railings were only a meter high. Some people also commented that there were a lot of gaps in the fence that would actually allow small children to squeeze through. An investigation is still ongoing, but the facility may need to re-examine their current safety measures if they are found to be at fault.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan is one of only a handful of facilities that works to preserve the giant panda species. Through the work of facilities like these, the formerly-endangered species has managed to be reclassified from being "endangered" to only being "vulnerable." Pandas are considered to be one of the national symbols for China. These animals are also popular tourist attractions and are viewed by thousands of Chinese visitors in various enclosures and zoos. The facility in Sichuan has attracted more than 30,000 visitors in the past few days, mostly from visitors who are celebrating the Lunar New Year holidays.