Panda escapes from enclosure at Danish zoo; returned safely

Xing Er

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 anaesthetised 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" programme set up by China which consists of lending pandas in order to foster relations with trading partners.

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