A video emerged Sunday showing a Chinese man wrestling a giant panda inside a zoo enclosure in Nanchang in eastern China’s Jiangxi province. Both the man and the panda were said to be unharmed at the end of their “fight.”
The video, recorded by a closed-circuit camera at the animal’s enclosure, showed the unidentified man walking up to the sleeping panda, who is called Meiling. According to witnesses, the man was trying to impress his female friends by teasing the sleeping animal.
While the man was doing whatever it is he went in to do, the panda woke up and grabbed the man’s leg, a move Meiling usually uses when playing with breeders. The man tried to free himself but the panda wouldn’t let go, and then, in a move out of a sumo match, the animal brought the man down, who can then be seen half-trapped under the big animal and stroking it, trying to perhaps coax it into letting him go. Seeing it not work, he began wrestling the panda again and when he managed to get free of the animal’s hold briefly, he ran out of the enclosure, holding up his trousers which the panda seemingly tore slightly.
According to zoo authorities, Meiling was put through a medical check after the incident and breeders were told observe it closely. So far, no problems have been reported. They added that the man left the zoo immediately after escaping the panda enclosure and couldn’t be contacted.
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd expressed his support for the panda.
Giant pandas are bears native to China whose diet, despite being a carnivore, consists almost entirely of bamboo. They are currently classified as a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, a change that was made this year before which it was classified as endangered.