Statues of two cartoon bears were removed from outside a shopping mall in Beijing this week, after it was noted that one appeared to be directing a middle finger toward the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) building.

The statues of the popular Boonie Bear cartoon characters first appeared last Sunday ahead of Wednesday’s Children’s Day celebrations. After the characters were erected in the city’s financial hub, they immediately garnered attention online as one appeared to be obscenely gesturing toward the CSRC headquarters.

Obscene bear
The statue appeared to be obscenely gesturing toward the CSRC building

They were placed in front of Seasons Place mall as part of a Boonie Bear Theme Park set up for Children’s Day. Online reports suggest that the entire statue set- which includes the bears, two monkeys and a hunter – were initially moved to another location facing the Bank of Communications, before the two bears were taken out of the set entirely.

Zhu Lei, who is in charge of the theme park, told the Beijing Youth Daily that the CSRC “called us afterwards, saying the bear was using an impolite hand gesture, as if it was putting its middle finger up at them… but a bear only has four fingers, it would not give a middle finger.”

Zhu was not contacted by the BOC after the bears were relocated, but the bears were subsequently condemned to storage in order to avoid any further misunderstandings.