Open gate lets zoo visitors get too close to giant panda

Maryam Shah, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:20 PM ET

TORONTO -- For a brief moment on Sunday, only a metal chain-link fence separated Toronto Zoo visitors from a five-year-old male giant panda.

Andrew Fedurko, 25, was at the popular panda exhibit with his fiancee around 5:30 p.m. when they both realized something was not quite right.

A 15-foot wooden gate -- dubbed a secondary barrier gate by the zoo -- came unlocked, and people were able to crowd into a small enclosed space next to the outdoor exhibit housing Da Mao, one of the zoo's two pandas.

"We backed away and I just started recording because people started poking this bear with sticks, banging on the cage to take pictures," said Fedurko, who provided footage of the incident to QMI Agency.

The entire scene made him and his fiancee uncomfortable, especially seeing small children lean with their backs against the fence as Da Mao lingers at a fairly close distance on the other side.

"The thing was very irritated because people had been prodding it for who knows how long," Fedurko said Tuesday.


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