A two-year-old panda accidentally swallowed a syringe needle during a regular blood sampling process in a zoo in Taipei, Taiwan on Thursday.
Yuanzai, the first panda ever born in the Chinese island region, unexpectedly seized the needle with her teeth on Thursday when it was already in her left forearm. Caretakers tried to take the needle out of her mouth but failed.
The panda was then induced anesthesia around 16:00 and taken to the animal hospital for treatment.
Veterinarians checked Yuanzai with X-ray and located the needle in her digestive tract. They took various measures to ensure sure that her esophagus was not hurt. A second check found that the needle had already reached the small intestine.
Due to giant pandas’ fast intestinal tract movement, the vets decided to wait for the needle to be excreted out of Yuanzai’s body, mixed in the bamboo residues six to eight hours after being taken, said Eric Tsao, a spokesperson of Taipai Zoo.
“The syringe needle has a length of over three centimeters, but the needle exposed is less than two centimeters long,” said Tsao.
The needle was finally passed by Yuanzai while defecating Friday morning and everybody was relieved to see Yuanzai all refreshed and lively.
Born on July 6, 2013, Yuanzai is the baby of a pair of giant pandas “Tuan Tuan” and “Yuan Yuan”, a goodwill gift from the Chinese mainland.