The Taipei Zoo will broadcast panda cub Yuan Zai’s (圓仔) daily life live from her cage, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday, adding that the live broadcast will not be 24 hours a day amid concerns that the zoo is seeking to exploit the cub.
The one-month-old panda cub has become an online sensation since the zoo started putting videos showing her growth on YouTube.
As the fluffy Yuan Zai gains popularity, Hau last week asked the zoo to provide a live video feed to the public of Yuan Zai’s daily life.
Hau said the zoo will broadcast real-time footage at a certain time each day to allow the public to witness the cub’s growth.
“We want to share Yuan Zai’s growth with the public without affecting animal conservation,” he said at Taipei City Hall.
The zoo was unable to set up real-time online streaming to view the 43-day-old Yuan Zai previously due to a lack of staff and equipment, zoo spokesman Chang Chi-hua (張志華) said.
Amid the media frenzy about the cub, animal rights advocates have questioned the city’s daily updates on the cub and urged the zoo to give the cub and her mother, Yuan Yuan (圓圓), more privacy.
The mayor said the city will take different opinions into consideration.
Education, animal protection and other aspects will be included in the evaluation as the zoo prepares to offer the live broadcasts.
“We also care about other animals’ growth and provide updates of their cubs in the zoo,” he said, saying the zoo would not ignore other animals because of the giant pandas.
The cub was taken away from her mother shortly after birth and placed in an incubator because zoo keepers feared Yuan Yuan might accidentally hurt her.