Location: National Zoo, Washington DC
Date: 23 December 1984
Panda: Ling Ling
Keeper Edwin Jacobs was mauled and bitten by Ling Ling, a 14 year-old female panda. Jacobs entered the cage to check on Ling Ling. According to the Times-Post news service, Jacobs had “lacerations on his neck, chest, back, arms and leg”. Although most were superficial. “one or more were deep lacerations that apparently were caused by biting”. Jacobs had 20 years of experience as a keeper and had worked frequently around Ling Ling and her partner Hsing Hsing.
A zoo spokeperson was quoted as saying:
People forget that pandas are wild animals. They are also naturally aggressive and territorial, and when Mr Jacobs entered the enclosure, she responded to it as an intrusion of her space.