Gu Gu, one of the Beijing Zoo’s pandas, has been in the news for three attacks on humans in as many years. In 2006, he bit (and was bitten by) a drunken man who climbed into his enclosure. In 2007, he bit a teen who tried to hug him while he was feeding. In 2009, he mauled a man who climbed into his enclosure to retrieve a toy.
What is it about Gu Gu that makes him so vicious? Well, nothing other than being a normal adult male bear, actually. The real question have so many people been able to invade his territory and open themselves up to attack?
The answer may be revealed in this video clip from CNN. As you can see in the video, all that prevents zoo visitors from entering the panda enclosure is a steel railing. Once they climb over the railing, however, there is a fairly deep pit which prevents them (and the pandas) from climbing back out.
It’s great that zoo visitors have an open and unobstructed view of the pandas, but maybe after three attacks it’s time to think about preventing visitors from so easily entering the panda area?