Teen rescued from Australian zoo’s panda exhibit after hopping fence to retrieve cellphone

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An Australian teen was rescued Monday after he jumped into the Adelaide Zoo’s panda exhibit to retrieve his cellphone.

The teen was part of a large group of students who were visiting the zoo in South Australia when he dropped his phone into the panda’s bamboo forest while videoing, according to 7News Australia.

He reflexively hopped over the enclosure’s electric fence to get his phone, but quickly realized he may have reacted too hastily.

“He looked a bit shocked, like ‘I don’t think I should be in here right now,’” witness Nicola Williamson told the network.

The exhibit at Adelaide Zoo was built in 2009 and houses Wang Wang and Fu Ni, Australia’s only breeding pair of giant pandas, the Daily Mail reported. Despite Fu Ni milling about during the teen’s time inside the enclosure, the two didn’t come into contact with each other.

“There was no giant panda in sight through this entire time,” Zoos South Australia chief executive Elaine Bensted told reporters Monday. “In fact, I think Wang Wang slept through the entire excitement – my staff didn’t.”

Zoo staff shut off the electric fence and placed a ladder inside the enclosure so the teen could climb out.

The teen reported some slight tingling in his fingers from touching the electric wire, but he was otherwise fine. The exhibit reopened about 30 minutes after he initially hopped into the bamboo forest.

The zoo said it will review its safety protocols in light of the incident.

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