Lifetime ban for unruly tourists who treat pandas badly

A total of 12 tourists have been issued lifetime bans by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China due to their misconduct, bringing renewed attention to unruly behaviour among travellers in the country.

On June 17, the esteemed panda research and breeding centre shared a notice on its official WeChat account, naming 12 tourists banned from the park due to “uncivilized behaviour” observed between April and June this year.

The institute mentioned the culprits’ ages ranged from 26 to 61 but did not specify if they were local or foreign visitors.

These individuals were observed throwing bamboo shoots, lollipop sticks, and cigarettes into the outdoor play area of the pandas on different occasions. In a few instances, eggs and bread were also tossed into the enclosure.

On May 2, a 61-year-old woman disregarded staff instructions and slipped an umbrella through the guardrails unnoticed. The umbrella fell into the enclosure, where a panda “came into contact” with it.

According to the institute, the pandas have undergone inspection and observation, and they are in normal condition.

“We will maintain ongoing monitoring of each animal’s physical well-being to ensure their health and safety,” the institute said, reported Channel News Asia. 

Established in 1987, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province is one of China’s most beloved attractions. It received the country’s second-highest rating on the five-tier tourist attraction system in 2006.

According to information on the institute’s website, it welcomed over 9 million visitors in a single year.

The institute’s website prominently states that littering, spitting, and throwing food into the animals’ activity areas are strictly prohibited, as these behaviours endanger their safety. 

It also warns that individuals engaging in such uncivilised behaviour could face entry bans ranging from one to five years, or even a lifetime ban.

The centre has imposed lifetime bans in the past. A notice from April indicated that six visitors were previously issued such penalties, including a 21-year-old who spat water at a giant panda.

Similar measures have been implemented at other tourist destinations.

In 2018, four Chinese tourists were banned from a nature reserve in Shaanxi province for throwing rocks at a giant panda, as reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).

READ ALSOHigh-volume crypto traders need to pay taxes