Beijing, July 28 (IANS) A video which appeared to show mistreatment of two giant panda cubs at a research facility in Chengdu, China, has gone viral drawing heavy criticism, the media reported on Friday.
In the video, a staff member is seen “dragging and throwing” the cubs, reports the BBC.
The incident has drawn criticism from Chinese netizens, who have raised concerns about animal cruelty.
However, panda keeper Guo Jingpeng defended himself, saying the cubs were being violent.
Guo told Xinhua news agency that what is not shown in the video is that he was bitten during a feeding.
“The cub bit my hand really hard. Its teeth cut into my flesh and my hand started bleeding,” he said, adding that his hand still remained scarred.
“When it tried to bite me again, I pushed it away out of instinct.”
Guo also said he felt he had been wronged by the footage being circulated online this week, which was recorded earlier in July.
“The online community claims we don’t love pandas. But we choose to stay and work here because we love this creature,” he added.
In response to the video, many users of Sina Weibo micro-blogging site called for Guo’s resignation over his “manhandling” of the cubs.
“I don’t care what he has to say, they were just babies,” a Beijing-based user said.
“It made me so angry to watch him throw a defenceless cub around. If he was so worried about his safety, why wasn’t he wearing protective equipment like gloves?”
Other netizens called it “blatant animal abuse” and voiced anger at the situation.