Chinese social media is in uproar over video that appears to show two giant panda cubs being abused at Chengdu Panda Base, the country’s prestigious breeding facility for the animals.
In the video, a panda handler identified as Guo Jingpeng and a colleague can be seen handling panda cubs in a rough manner, throwing them across the floor while attempting to leave the enclosure.
The video, which surfaced online earlier this month, has recently received widespread backlash after going viral on the Chinese internet. Social media users have accused the handlers of cruelty, reports state news agency Xinhua.
The Chengdu Panda Base has been criticized for the footage, casting doubt over how well pandas are cared for at the facility.
The breeder has reportedly responded to the footage saying the animal handler acted too harshly, and that they have ordered the staff to treat the panda’s gently.
There are currently just over 1,800 giant pandas in the wild in China, according to the WWF.
In September 2016, the panda was downgraded from the endangered animal list to ‘vulnerable’ status on the global list of at risk species.