China’s State Forestry Administration (CSFA) has promised to investigate a zoo in Lanzhou, northwest China, after pictures emerged of one of its pandas appearing to be injured and emaciated.
The pictures, posted on Sina Weibo on Saturday, show a panda with a bloody back wound walking around an enclosure in Lanzhou Zoo, Gansu Province. They have caused outrage online.
The management of the zoo said the female panda, named Sulan and born in 1994, had been moved indoors for further observation and treatment. They speculated that the wound may have been caused by Shulan brushing up against bamboo while eating it.
Many netizens questioned if Lanzhou Zoo was up to keeping China’s treasured national mascot, calling for the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda and the CSFA to step in.
This is far from the first scandal involving apparent poor treatment of pandas in Chinese zoos. Shanxi Zoo was in hot water earlier this month after a panda was observed eating garbage there. The zoo cleaned up the area soon and apologized.