A panda escaped from the Copenhagen Zoo on May 8, but was safely returned before the zoo opened to the public. 

The panda, whose name is Xing Er, came to the zoo last year and is a 7-year-old male. A zoo veterinarian Bengt Holst explained that Xing Er was seen on surveillance footage as he was trying to escape. He described the recorded video by saying, “the male panda crawls up a metal pole, which is studded with three rows of electrical wires … and then crawls out into the garden.” The panda roamed around the park until it was sedated with a dart. Xing Er was not harmed.

Zoo spokesperson Jacob Munkholm Hoeck told Agence France-Presse, “The veterinarian of the zoo anaesthetised the panda and he was brought back to the enclosure.” He later said, “There he was given an antidote and woke up a couple of minutes later.”

Holst went on to explain that the Copenhagen Zoo is currently making changes “to ensure that it does not happen again.” Even though, the event happened before the zoo opened that day Holst said, “It doesn’t change the fact that we want to avoid that kind of situation in the future.”

Xing Er climbed out of the new $24.2 million panda house that was built last year. The house also contains a female panda named Mao Sun. Both pandas come from Chengdu, a southwestern city of China. As a sign of goodwill China lends out pandas for 15 years at a time. Any cubs that are born in this period, however, are considered property of China. 

The panda house at the Copenhagen Zoo was inaugurated by Denmark dignitaries, including Queen Margrethe in April 2019.

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