Giant pandas are a common topic of discussion on Chinese social media, whether it be in righteous anger at the alleged mistreatment of pandas in Memphis or adoration for the needy antics of a cub in Sichuan.
But Ling Yan, a male panda and resident of Luoyang zoo in Central China, might be the first of his species to be temporarily “banned” from a livestream. The offence? Controversial “ass-shaking” behaviour.
The 7-year-old panda was seen vigorously shaking his tail and bopping his head during a routine livestream, leading some viewers to jokingly dub the move “sexy”. The livestream was then stopped for 10 minutes with no further explanation. Many zoos and conservation centres in China livestream pandas around the clock, which many viewers appreciate for its解压 (stress-relieving) and 治愈 (therapeutic) qualities.
The incident has spawned several viral topics on China’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo, the most viewed having garnered over 30 million views and 2000 discussions over 2 days. Netizens joked that not even China’s most beloved national symbol is exempt from laws prohibiting “pornographic” content on livestreams.
The zoo later followed up with a compilation video of similar bottom-rubbing moments with the text, “The Giant Panda scratches or shakes its bottom to relieve itchiness and shake off water etc., this is normal behaviour”. As well providing a scientific explanation, the zoo also played up to the humour of the incident, adding a pop beat to the video and the following tongue-in-cheek caption: “Aunties, I am a respectable Panda!”.