Zoo Denies Mistreating Pandas

 | Fri 5 Sep 2014 20:14 ICT

CityNews – Chiang Mai Zoo has defended the way it cares for its pandas after a video posted online showed one with rotten teeth, Chinese news reports said this week.

Pandas at Chiang Mai Zoo.

Sing Sian Yer Pao Daily, a Mandarin newspaper in Thailand, raised the issue in a social media post on Tuesday, the China News Service reported.

The video showed giant panda Linhui eating an apple with difficulty due to severe abrasions on her teeth, it said. Sing Sian Yer Pao Daily reported that the food budget for the giant pandas is only $200 (6,500 baht) a month, leading some to speculate that they were being fed cheap bamboo that is too hard and thick, and can damage the teeth.

The news caused a stir among Chinese netizens, and a panda expert interviewed by the Chengdu Commercial Daily said the problem was probably caused by the kind of bamboo Linhui has been eating.

The zoo told Sing Sian that it had noticed the enamel erosion on Linhui’s teeth about six months ago, but after taking an X-ray and consulting with Chinese experts concluded that it was mostly a genetic problem. Linhui is in a healthy condition after receiving treatment, it said.