Grandpa Pu Bao gets a lot of abuse: “Panda looks uncomfortable!

Kang Kang-won, the keeper of Everland’s beloved giant panda, Pooh Bao, has been struggling with negative comments lately. Mr. Kang is known as “Pu Bao Grandpa,” and after news broke that Pu Bao would be returning to China next year, these accusations increased. Everland (whose YouTube channel “Talking Zoo Pupativi” is operated by Everland) has publicly expressed concern about the incident and asked fans to refrain from overly critical comments directed at individual zookeepers.

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Panda ‘Fubao’ and the dedication of the zookeepers at Kangwon Park

Keeper Kang Won is a veteran of the park, having spent the last 35 years caring for a variety of animals at Everland. In 2016, we began caring for Pu Bao’s parents, Liu Bao and Aibao, and in 2020, we welcomed Pu Bao into the world with the first successful natural panda birth in Korea. He went on to prove his expertise by successfully raising twin pandas, Rui Bao and Hui Bao.

The “Panda looks uncomfortable” malarkey

When it became known that the structure of the radiation field indoors where Pu Bao was staying had been changed, fans reacted by saying, “It’s sad that Pu Bao is already leaving,” while others said, “It’s not fair.”

The day before, Kang took to YouTube to introduce the new indoor enclosure, saying, “Before Fubao goes, and before the baby pandas come out, we’ve made some improvements to the facility to keep everyone happy.” The move was in preparation for Aibao, who gave birth to twins in July, to come out to the field with her babies soon.

The video shows the changes made to the enclosure, including moving the playpen downstairs and installing new mats on the floor so that the twin pandas, who are still young, can play together. We installed anti-climb plates on trees where the panda cubs could get hurt climbing. This change in the environment for the cubs has caused some users to point out that “Pooh Bao looks uncomfortable (because of the change)”.

China’s Panda Ownership Policy and the Return of Pu Bao

According to China’s panda ownership policy, pandas that reach the age of four must return to China for breeding activities. In line with this policy, Fubao will also be moving to China in the first half of next year. Since the news broke, there has been an uptick in criticism of steelhead keepers, but this criticism is unfair given their hard work and dedication.

Increased interest in zookeepers and pandas

Kang Kang-won, who has shared his daily life with Poohbao on various shows including SBS’s “Poohbao and Halbuji” and MBC’s “Omniscient Point of View,” is affectionately known as “Poohbudge” (Poohbao + Grandpa) at home and abroad. With this popularity, interest in fubao and river breeders continues to grow.

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