A video of a giant panda with shaven hind legs recently went viral online in China, turning him into an overnight "celebrity" even though the video was shot in 2008.
The video captured the panda, Yuan Xiao, limping around his enclosure seemingly unaware of being "stripped" of his pants.
At that time, Yuan Xiao was wounded during a panda "gang" fight when he used to live in the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding of southwest China's Sichuan Province. Vets had to shave his hind legs to properly treat the wound, therefore stripping him of his 'pants'.
Yuan Xiao, who now happily lives in a zoo in Qingdao, Shandong Province, did not receive the attention he deserved for showing off his naked legs, as the internet in 2008 was not readily accessible in China as it is now.
However, it is never too late to claim fame, as someone finally posted the video online. Netizens went wild for Yuan Xiao, calling him the "panda stripped of pants". Even his own breeder did not know about his experience.
"Yuan Xiao has always been a healthy panda here. We didn't know he had such an experience. We contacted the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to verify it and they confirmed that Yuan Xiao is indeed the one that was stripped of his pants," said Duan Meiling, a panda breeder with Qingdao Zoo.
Some visitors in the zoo said the panda has since become mild in temperament. "Maybe he has grown milder after all these years, since he was stripped of his pants after the gang fight. I just saw him lying there," said a visitor.
The giant panda is healthy now; it can freely climb trees and stand on walls, and his hair has grown back, covering the scars on his hind legs.
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding rented the panda to Qingdao Zoo and when the lease ends, he will return to Chengdu. Therefore, Duan said she cherishes every moment with Yuan Xiao and often takes photos of him on her phone.