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‘As long as he’s healthy and happy’: Zoo in China gives up on helping obese leopard lose weight

Zoo in China gives up on helping popular obese leopard lose weight

In March this year, an obese leopard in China drew popularity after visitors compared him to Officer Clawhauser from Zootopia.

The zoo tried to help the leopard lose some of that weight by increasing its living space and putting him on a diet.

However, three months on, the zoo has stopped its efforts in the leopard’s weight loss programme.

According to the multiple experts consulted, the leopard is too old for some of the major changes needed.

Despite his chonky look, the fluffy leopard is said to be happy and healthy.

Chonky leopard becomes popular with visitors

In March 2024, a leopard in Panzhihua Park Zoo in Sichuan, China became popular online due to his uncharacteristically chubby stature.

Multiple visitors compared him to Officer Clawhauser from Disney’s Zootopia.

Source: The Paper

They even gave him the nickname “Bao Jingguan” (豹警官) meaning “Officer Leopard”.

This popularity caused ticket sales at the zoo to soar, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP), earning the zoo 190,000 yuan (S$35,404) this year.

Tickets cost 2 yuan (S$0.37) each on regular days and 3 yuan (S$0.56) during holidays.

 

Source: The Paper

According to The Paper, the zoo expanded the popular leopard’s living space by twice the size on 27 March.

They removed the fence and mesh between the leopard housing area and the adjacent building, which increased the leopard’s living space to 45 square metres.

This was part of an effort to get the leopard to lose weight by allowing him to move around more. A diet was also part of this effort.

Experts say he’s too old and should just be allowed to enjoy his old age

However, two months on, the leopard still retained his signature round belly.

When asked by reporters, zoo staff said that they halted the leopard’s weight loss plans after consulting with multiple experts.

Source: Xinhua

According to Xinhua, the experts agreed that the leopard is too old and that he should be allowed to enjoy his old age.

The leopard is 16 or 17 years old, making him about 70 or 80 years old in human years.

A staff member at the zoo also noted that he is eating the “standard ratio” of 3.5 kilograms of lean beef daily with the occasional rabbit and chicken meat.

The park will continue to give the leopard physical examinations to ensure that he’s healthy.

As long as he’s ” healthy and happy”, things will be fine, said the staff member.

Also read: Zoo in China dyes Chow Chows to look like pandas, attracts queues

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from The Paper.

Buranond Kijwatanachai

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