- (Photo: Twitter)
A viral photo associated with the series of earthquakes that ripped through southwest China this week shows a frightened panda clinging to the leg of a police officer.
The photo has gained a large amount of traction on various social websites, including Twitter and Facebook, often sporting the caption: "scared panda clings to a police officer's leg after an earthquake hits China." Although some have wondered if the image is genuine, others found the image too cute to ignore.
"How cute is this?" Asked one Twitter user, re-tweeting the photo which has been circulating on the Web.
"It doesn't get more precious than this," said another, adding "aw, sweet little panda."
A third user invited the panda to "cling to my leg any day of the week."
Another user posted the photo on their Facebook page with the caption: "Things that make you go 'awwwwww'."
The photo, apparently originally shared earlier this week when an earthquake hit China, started making the rounds again Friday after a series of deadly temblors.
The most recent earthquake to hit China was a 5.6-magnitude quake on the borders of the Guizhou and Yunnan provinces at 11:30 a.m., followed by an equally strong earthquake in the same area at noon, according to The Associated Press.
Over 60 aftershocks followed the initial two quakes, reaping havoc on the area, predominately in Yiliang County, where all but one of the 50 deaths occurred as a result of the quake. Additionally, the earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks destroyed at least 20,000 homes, the AP reported.
Pandas are often frightened by earthquakes, as seen in the 2008 earthquake near the Woolong panda reserve in China, when rescuers had to save hundreds of frightened giant pandas from being squashed by boulders reportedly the size of small cars.
The pandas of the 2008 earthquake were then sent to a zoo in Beijing for recovery from the trauma inflicted on them in the May 2008 quake.