Planet China

Camera shy

Few people get close to giant pandas. That’s just as well. Although the endangered species often has a cuddly reputation, they are still bears, after all.

That’s something that soon became apparent to the residents of Liziba in Gansu province last month, when a wild panda wandered into their village. Since Liziba was made part of a national nature reserve in 1978, no bears had ever been spotted. So the rare appearance saw hundreds of villagers flock to greet their unexpected guest. Many took photos with their phone handsets. But local farmer Guan Zhiquan inadvertently blocked the panda’s path as it tried to depart. According to the Global Times, “the normally vegetarian visitor briefly abandoned his bamboo to chomp on Guan’s right foot instead”. Staff from the nature reserve were summoned to help the panda find its way back to the mountains. And farmer Guan was sent to a local hospital for treatment.

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