An elephant was caught on camera eating a plastic bag after a zoo visitor threw it into its enclosure.
The heartbreaking incident took place at a Chinese zoo where an unruly visitor hurled what is believed to be a plastic bag containing an apple inside the elephant’s enclosure.
Despite multiple ‘no feeding’ warnings being displayed outside the enclosure at the Kunming Zoo in Yunnan province, the unnamed tourist decided not only to feed the animal but also to pollute its home with plastic waste.
Once the elephant noticed the item lying on the ground, it picked it up with its trunk before eating the fruit together with the plastic wrapper.
Following the incident, the park’s officials confirmed they have been made aware of the visitor’s actions. They also claimed they fed the animal “some digestive medicine” to help it pass on the plastic waste.
The moment the visitor threw an apple into the elephant’s enclosure was caught on camera by Mr. Chen who told Kunming Television that an apple was most likely wrapped inside the plastic bag.
In the video taken by Chen, one of the zoo’s visitors is heard saying that “it would be troublesome” if the elephant eats the plastic bag moments before the same thing actually happened.
Speaking to Kunming Television, Chen added: “I thought the elephant would pick [the fruit from the plastic bag] but it ate it all together.”
After the incident, a Kunming Zoo employee told the reporters that the elephant was fed digestive medicine after their discovery.
“Most of the time, it would be discharged normally the next morning,” they said.
As a zoo spokesperson also confirmed in a statement to The Paper, the visitor who fed the elephant plastic was not punished because they “had not caused any actual harm.”
“Because we are not an administrative institution, we could only give [them] a reprimand,” they confirmed.
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