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Ganzhou zoo under fire for spraying pandas with cold water
   2016-10-09 16:25:56    People.com      Web Editor: Zhang Shuai

Giant panda Hanyuan in the zoo. [File photo: newskj.com]

China Giant Panda Research Center has demanded that Ganzhou Forest Zoo reform its problematic practice in panda care. The demand comes after Internet users alleged that the zoo was mistreating its pandas.

According to several Weibo users, the caretakers at Ganzhou Forest Zoo regularly spray the zoo's pandas with cold water. In a letter to the China Giant Panda Research Center, the zoo denied the allegation. It also explained that, due to recent high temperatures, they use central air conditioning to create a comfortable environment for the pandas.

According to the statement, the zoo does spray cold water, but not directly on the pandas. Instead, to ensure that the pandas don't become ill from spending too much time below the air conditioning vent, zoo caretakers spray cold water on the ground, which causes the pandas to move away from the air duct.

The zoo admitted that this practice is not standard and could use improvement. In the letter, the zoo guaranteed that caretakers would maintain professional integrity and standards, refraining from any behaviors that could be regarded as animal abuse.

Ganzhou Forest Zoo is home to two pandas, Gongzhu and Hanyuan. Both came to Ganzhou from Sichuan in February 2016.

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