A young girl had more of a close encounter than she bargained for after falling into a panda enclosure at a famous breeding centre in China.
The unidenfied child, who appeared to be primary school age, fell about two metres into a trench surrounding the giant panda enclosure at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Video filmed of the incident shows the child crying as the bears approach her, while a crowd of people watched from above.
However, the pandas – who are more interested in bamboo than people – did nothing to the girl, except curiously watch her from a grassy mound.
Attempts were made to rescue the child using a thin pole and eventually a security guard pulled her to safety through a gap in the fence. During the rescue, two more bears walked over to watch.
Following the girl’s ordeal, a member of staff defended safety measures at the reserve.
“The railings are quite high, so unless you climb over them it would be impossible to fall in,” the South China Morning Post quoted her as saying.
In the video, however, the fence surrounding the enclosure only appears to be about a metre high, with gaps that a small child could easily fit through.
While it is unknown how the child got into the enclosure, the worker said neither she or the bears suffered any injuries.
The Sichuan province is one of few areas where giant pandas can still be found in the wild. The Chengdu reserve is one of several sanctuaries dedicated to helping the bears survive.
It’s a popular tourist attraction for both domestic and international tourists, with more than 30,000 visitors welcomed during the Lunar New Year period.
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