A giant panda in a Wuhan zoo is being returned to China’s research center for giant pandas in Sichuan on Wednesday for "rest and recovery" after netizens claimed it was abused by a zookeeper.
The nose and paws, as well as the skin surrounding the eyes of giant panda Wei Wei, who lives in Wuhan City Zoo in Hubei Province, were found to have turned white, which netizens suspected was caused by a dirty environment and poor care.
The zoo director admitted problems in management and has suspended the panda's zookeeper, according to a statement on the zoo’s Weibo account Tuesday.
The zookeeper was filmed washing hair and smoking in a room where the panda’s food was stored, a netizen identified as "Chier2014" claimed on Weibo. Chier2014 also claimed the apples which the panda was fed were not fresh and had ants in them.
Wei Wei, a 13-year-old male panda, is flying back to the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas in Sichuan on Wednesday for a "full rest and recovery," Wuhan Evening News reported.
Meanwhile, Wuhan Zoo is building a new panda pavilion with better facilities, which is expected to be completed in November.