Panda bites man, man bites him back
Updated: 2006-09-20 20:32 BEIJING - A drunken Chinese migrant worker jumped
into a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, was bitten by the bear and retaliated
by chomping down on the animal's back, state media said Wednesday.
Zhang Xinyan, from the central province of Henan, drank four jugs of beer at
a restaurant near the zoo before visiting Gu Gu the panda on Tuesday, the
Beijing Morning Post said.
Gu Gu, a six-year-old panda, eats near the
entrance to its enclosure at Beijing Zoo Wednesday Sept. 20, 2006. Police
were investigating Wednesday after Gu Gu bit a drunken Chinese tourist who
jumped into the enclosure and tried to hug him on Tuesday. The tourist,
Zhang Xinyan, then bit the panda during a struggle, before zookeepers were
able to rescue the man. [AP]
"He felt a sudden urge to touch the panda with his hand," and jumped into the
enclosure, the newspaper said.
The panda, who was asleep, was startled and bit Zhang, 35, on the right leg,
it said. Zhang got angry and kicked the panda, who then bit his other leg. A
tussle ensued, the paper said.
"I bit the fellow in the back," Zhang was quoted as saying in the newspaper.
"Its skin was quite thick."
Other tourists yelled for a zookeeper, who got the panda under control by
spraying it with water, reports said. Zhang was hospitalized.
Newspaper photographs showed Zhang lying on a hospital bed with blood-soaked
bandages and a seam of stitches running down his leg.
The Beijing Youth Daily quoted Zhang as saying that he had seen pandas on
television and "they seemed to get along well with people."
"No one ever said they would bite people," Zhang said. "I just wanted to
touch it. I was so dizzy from the beer. I don't remember much."
Ye Mingxia, a spokeswoman for the Beijing Zoo, confirmed the incident
happened but would not give any details. She said Gu Gu was "healthy."
"We're not considering punishing him now," Ye said in a telephone interview.
"He's suffered quite a bit of shock."