Sick of lockdown: Panda escapes confinement in Copenhagen zoo

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 09 2020 07:38 AM

Sick of lockdown: Panda escapes confinement in Copenhagen zoo 1
A panda bear walks around in its enclosure at the Copenhagen Zoo on May 25, 2020 which partially reopened following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thibault Savary, AFP

COPENHAGEN - Humans are not the only ones tiring of confinement during the coronavirus pandemic -- a panda escaped from his enclosure at Copenhagen Zoo on Monday.

Xing Er, a 6-year-old male panda -- soon to be 7 -- then took a tour of the zoo, which was closed at the time. 

He was spotted on a surveillance video "leaving his enclosure, slipping under an electric fence", zoo spokesman Jacob Munkholm Hoeck told AFP. 

The animal wandered around the zoo until an employee noticed it and called a security team. 

"The veterinarian of the zoo anesthetized the panda and he was brought back to the enclosure," Hoeck said.

"There he was given an antidote and woke up a couple of minutes later."

Xing Er was not harmed and there were no human injuries. 

Bengt Holst, the zoo's chief scientist, said in a statement that security around the enclosure will be "carefully examined" to "make sure (it) doesn't happen again". 

Xing Er and his female mate Mao Sun -- who did not take part in his escape -- arrived in Denmark in April 2019, on loan from the Chinese city of Chengdu.

They are a part of the "panda diplomacy" program set up by China which consists of lending pandas in order to foster relations with trading partners. 

© Agence France-Presse