Panda Mom, Cub healthy despite abuse accusations

By on May 31, 2017

Mei Xiang. (Photo by Rob Page III - Own work, CC BY 3.0.)
Mei Xiang. (Photo by Rob Page III – Own work, CC BY 3.0.)

MOSCOW — Chinese and US panda authorities have confirmed that two pandas at a US zoo are in good health following accusations on social media that the mother and cub were being starved and abused.

Meixiang and 2-year-old Beibei, pandas living at the National Zoological Park in Washington DC, are in perfect health, a zoo employee media on Tuesday.

Panda experts in Sichuan Province previously refuted the claims, explaining Meixiang was exhibiting normal behavior.

The responses counter accusations from Chinese social media users of abuse after previous livestream videos showed mother Meixiang, 19, scratching the walls of her habitat and wailing.

Other clips from Friday show Meixiang scavenging for bits of bamboo to eat, sparking outrage online and accusations the panda was starved.

The Weibo hashtag “pandas in the US abused” garnered more than 54.6 million views as of press time.

However, in a Weibo post on Saturday, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda explained Meixiang was menstruating, which is marked by a reduction in appetite.

A livestream from the zoo on Monday showed mother and son playing happily as a crowd of visitors looked on, the paper said. (Sputnik)