Panda broadcasts need to be monitored: expert

Updated 2017-08-31 09:00:46 Global Times

Broadcasts raise 'awareness' about conservation

Live broadcast of giant pandas could raise public awareness about wildlife conservation, but broadcasts need to be monitored, experts said, after Chinese media raised concerns that "the broadcasts have severely disturbed the normal life of pandas."

The live round-the-clock broadcasts of giant pandas have gained great popularity among netizens in recent years.

However, some media outlets discovered that these live broadcasts have caused anxiety among the pandas and disturbed their life.

"Some safaris mistreat the pandas by staging a show or using them for commercial performances to garner hits and money," People's Daily reported on Wednesday.

Moreover, some unprofessional camera teams with little knowledge about the pandas, visiting safaris or bases, severely disturb the pandas' life and scare them, according to the People's Daily.

"Some pandas seem exhausted because of frequent live broadcasts," the report said.

However, an employee from a panda base in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that in his base the pandas are never mistreated for video shooting.

"We have strict rules on the filming of the pandas. Most of our videos are taken from the surveillance cameras, which are installed everywhere in the park, and they have no negative impact on the pandas at all," said the employee.

In 2013, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding installed 28 high definition video cameras, which enable Internet users around the world to watch daily activities of the giant pandas living there, according to the People's Daily.

Moreover, the security personnel of the base would warn camera crews to turn off their flash lights when visiting the baby pandas, out of concern that the light can harm the baby pandas' eyes.

"Bases and safaris should be more cautious about the method of broadcasting," Zhao Huawen, founder of the Eudemonia Bank, a Chengdu-based organization dedicated to protecting panda habitat, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The government and the public should intensify surveillance of these safaris and panda bases, and government bodies should punish relevant parties once they find any problems with the live broadcasts, said Zhao.

But analysts said that it is necessary to make pandas popular on the Internet as it draws public attention to protecting the endangered species.

"Apart from showing their adorable side to the public, it would disseminate useful information about the pandas, such as their living habits and history," said Zhao.

According to the People's Daily, ipanda.com, a panda live broadcast platform, attracts more than 200,000 viewers on a daily basis.

In February, hundreds of millions of viewers watched the video of a baby panda holding the breeder's leg, the report said.

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