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Viral video shows panda keepers throwing and dragging cubs

Three panda keepers at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding have been accused of treating cubs roughly after a two-minute video showing them dragging, dropping and throwing cubs on the ground went viral on social media.

The video was first posted on Weibo by a web user named "Yixilan" on July 12 who called the panda keepers "rude".

The panda lover said in the post, "It would be understandable if the keepers had to drag or throw cubs to prevent them escaping, but in today's live video, the two cubs were tossed to the ground repeatedly — I can't bear it." The web user also asked the keepers in the video to give more love and patience to the cubs.

The video soon sparked a stir among Chinese netizens.

Many people were angry and criticized the way the keepers treated the animals, calling their behaviour "unacceptable" and "brutal". 

However, some questioned the authenticity of the footage and said the person who uploaded it had edited and sped up the original video to purposefully highlight the keepers' aggressive actions.

A director of the panda base replied recently, saying the trio of keepers did not have bad intentions while handling the cubs, but their movements were "too forceful and too quick."

"The video that circulated online was just part of the incident. It didn't show that the keepers were injured on their hands and legs during the process, and that they kept bleeding."

But the director admitted the workers' behavior was "inappropriate" and said they should treat cubs "gently".

"We have reprimanded the breeders, teaching them how to deal with such situations properly," the director added.

The three young panda keepers, two men and one woman, felt sorry but explained that the panda cubs were extremely excited that day, biting and scratching them. One of them showed his injuries to a reporter — a bite mark can still be clearly seen, even eight days after the incident.

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