Chubby Panda Keeps Fit With Sit-Ups

CENPublished: September 29, 2016368 views
Published: September 29, 2016

Adorable viral footage has captured a chubby panda doing sit-ups in its enclosure for fun.

The adult male giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) known as Mei Lan, who can eventually weigh to 160 kilogrammes (352 lbs), showed that while the Summer Games in Rio might already be over, he was not yet ready to give up his love for gymnastics.

As hundreds and thousands of visitors poured into the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, the 10-year-old reportedly showed off the cute gym routine by performing a couple of expert sit-ups in his enclosure in Chengdu, capital of south-west China’s Sichuan Province.

The rare site of Mei Lan exercising was captured on CCTV camera and is now spreading across social media circles, although some online users claim that it was only one sit up, and that it had been put on a loop.

Because of the species’ diet, which consists almost exclusively of bamboo, they spend almost all day either eating or sleeping, leaving very little time and energy for trips to the gym.

Pandas are significantly more active during their youth, when they can even be seen climbing trees and doing somersaults. But as their weight increases to some 40 kilogrammes (88 lbs) at just one year of age, extreme exercises become more challenging.

Mei Lan was born in the United States in 2006 and later returned to China in 2010.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - the world’s most comprehensive list of protected animals in the world - recently downgraded the giant panda’s status from "Endangered" to "Vulnerable".

The change on its Red List of Threatened Species is due to a noticeable rise in the species’ population in the wild, with the bears numbering just over 2,000 at the time of the last census in 2014.

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