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PANDA WASTES AWAY AFTER `JUNK’ DIET

SHARE PANDA WASTES AWAY AFTER `JUNK’ DIET

A three-year-old panda, once a star attraction at the Beijing zoo, has alarmed zoo keepers with a loss of weight and appetite after being fed a diet of junk food - everything from plastic bags to scrap metal.

Jini fell ill about one year ago after thoughtless visitors fed her this smorgasbord of garbage.Now, she hardly moves and has to be coaxed into eating and drinking, the Beijing Youth Daily quoted her veterinarian as saying.

"She has not recovered. We've tried everything but nothing has worked," Zhang Chenglin said.

"She was chubby and cute and liked to be around people so she attracted a lot of visitors."

Jini is not alone. Plastic packages, bottle caps, nails and even batteries have been found in the stomachs of other animals at the zoo.

Animals elsewhere in China have suffered from the same problem. A giraffe at the zoo in the city of Xian died after eating a plastic bag last month.