Sichuan province in southwest China is known both for its pandas and its baijiu, and the two should never mix. Unfortunately, they did just that last weekend as a group of bears stumbled upon a half-dozen bottles of baijiu left behind by errant sanctuary workers and, well, went wild, according to this local newspaper article. Not only were the pandas able to open the bottles but they drank every last drop of baijiu inside.
At 58 percent alcohol, this baijiu is a potent tipple for even the biggest drinker. For a panda used to nothing stronger than bamboo shots, it packs an especially heavy punch. A sanctuary worker estimated each panda had the equivalent of thirty shots of baijiu.
Security cameras in the sanctuary record most of the bears play fighting, falling down and aimlessly rolling around in the forest. Several are passed out and loudly snoring.
But over a dozen pandas escaped the sanctuary, including two on a sidecar motorcycle (see photos below). Several were arrested for attempting to break into a baijiu warehouse, although charges were dropped because the authorities said the bears were “so cute”.
One panda was also apprehended at a Chengdu supermarket after knocking over a shopping cart. The bear, which earlier in the day had visited a language school and mastered English in a matter of hours, said it was “sick of bamboo” and “had the munchies“.
As of the time of writing, only one panda remained at large, and was last seen riding toward Beijing on a unicorn. Suffice to say, April 1 will go down as the drunkest day in panda history.
You can see the full newspaper report here.