Panda ‘Houdini’ panics zoo visitors after leaping from enclosure in daring escape
A cheeky panda pulled out an issue of Harry Houdini escaping from his zoo enclosure in China.
Animal lovers have been ordered to get away from black-and-white Menglan, who believed he had become free earlier this week.
This is the second time in Menglan’s young life that he’s charmed audiences in a viral video after hilariously defying his caregiver’s instructions five years ago.
A zoo visitor on Wednesday filmed the bear reaching the top of its wall at the Beijing Zoo and contemplating a leap before following the dramatic drop below.
Another set of images prove, however, that Menglan finally found a way out and adorably lowered himself to the other side of a glass fence.
As a crowd gathered to watch and record Menglan planning his escape, serious-looking zoo staff rushed to clear the area to give him some space.
Instead of using the evacuated trail, the bear turned and looked for another escape route.
The temptation of food was enough to lure the adventurous male panda into his enclosure to end his free and short-lived wandering, reports The Sun.
The Beijing Zoo says changes will be made to Menglan’s enclosure so they no longer find themselves chasing him.
The free-spirited youngster was born in July 2015 as part of a program at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base.
Menglan was moved more than 1,000 miles northeast of the Beijing Zoo a few years later after the center was accused of mistreating him, TBEN reports.
When he was only around a year old, a funny video shared in 2016 showed Menglan behaving like a naughty toddler when interacting with his caretaker in Chengdu.
Chinese channel CCTV News uploaded the clip to YouTube, where Menglan responded to claims he was too fat by making a “no eh” sound.
The downy bear could also be seen refusing to budge when asked to do so.
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Panda breeding is proving successful in China, which removed giant pandas from its endangered species list earlier this year.
According to Beijing, 1,800 pandas now live in the wild, so they are “vulnerable” as opposed to “endangered” – a status they have held since 1990.
Thanks to more than 30 years of conservation work, the panda population has exploded and in the last decade alone, the number of people living in the wild in China has increased by almost 20%.