Park Reportedly Bans Man For Life After He Ruined Panda’s Diet

(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Gao, 53-years-old, was banned for life from visiting a panda park in China after allegedly breaking the rule about feeding its pandas, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding accused Gao of throwing “objects” into the panda enclosure Monday but said panda appeared to be unharmed from the incident, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Chinese Panda Dies Suddenly At Tennessee Zoo)

“In view of Gao’s uncivilized visit and his behavior that may cause harm to giant pandas, he is prohibited from entering the panda base … for life,” a notice from the research center read in part, according to the AP. “The national treasure has strict dietary standards,” the notice reportedly added.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding was opened in 1997 and has since conducted research that has increased the giant panda population in Chengdu as well as enhanced public and scientific awareness of the giant panda, according to their website.

Gao is not the first individual to be banned from the panda center, the AP reported. A man and woman were reportedly banned for life last August when they fed panda cubs bamboo shoots and peanuts respectively.

Pandas are a symbol of friendship in Chinese culture and the government at times loans out pandas to other countries to signal close ties, CNN reported. China engaged in this panda diplomacy with the United States of America starting in 1972, according to the AP. Pandas are reportedly “envoys of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in Nov. 2023 when promising to send more to the U.S.

Three giant pandas were sent back to mainland China back earlier in November after living 23 years in a United States zoo, NBC 4 Washington reported. “As a diplomat in Washington, I say goodbye and bon voyage. As a Chinese government official, I say welcome back,” Xu Xueyuan, a Chinese diplomat, reportedly said at the farewell ceremony in Washington D.C.