Archive for the '2008' Category

November 2008, China 2

Country: China

Location: Animal Protection Institute (near Xian, China)

Date: 6 November 2008

Panda: unknown panda

Details:

A 15 year old Australian girl received injuries to her hand when she attempted to pet a panda during a visit to a “panda santuary” near Xian, China. Not much of a santuary for the pandas if they let a group of visiting school kids into their enclosure, is it?

In an article entitled “Once bitten … Brighton East teen panda-shy after attack”, the Bayside Leader reports that Georgia Treu required more than 45 stitches to her left hand.

The Herald Sun describes the incident:

At the time, St Leonard’s College principal Dr Roger Hayward said the incident happened after a guide briefly left the students alone in an enclosure.

The Year 9 students were in the cage for feeding and cleaning.

“An English speaking guide took a small group into an enclosure, the guide called the panda over, and the panda was still on the other side of the cage.

“That staff member then went off to get something, and the panda started licking the girls’ hand and it then bit her,” Dr Hayward said.

Link: BBC report

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March 2008, USA

Country: USA

Location: National Zoo, Washington DC

Date: 18 March 2008

Panda: Tai Shan (Peaceful Mountain)

Details:

A keeper was bitten by Tai Shan while placing food in the panda enclosure’s yard area. The keeper was unaware that the panda had re-entered the yard and was attacked from behind. The Washington Post notes:

Keepers no longer enter Tai Shan’s yard for safety reasons, according to Gibbons, which has been the case since the cub weighed 70 pounds; now two-and-a-half years old, he weighs 170 pounds.

USA Today reported:

The keeper took 2-year-old Tai Shan indoors before placing food in his yard, Gibbons said in a statement. The panda re-entered the yard and approached the keeper from behind, playfully grabbing her with his mouth, Gibbons said. Pandas have sharp teeth, used for chewing bamboo.

Link: Panda cub injures zoo keeper

November 2008, China

Country: China

Location: Qixing Park (in Guilin, China)

Date: 21 November 2008

Panda: Yang Yang

Details:

A 20 year old man climbed over a 2 meter fence to enter the panda’s enclosure. The BBC reports:

Liu, who is studying at a university in Guilin, said he had been visiting the park with fellow students.

“Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him,” he told Xinhua from his hospital bed.

“I didn’t expect he would attack… I don’t remember how many bites I got.”

Yang Yang – whose name means sun – is seven years old and weighs 80kg (176lb). Keepers said he had recovered from the incident and was eating and playing as normal.

Link: BBC report

November 2008, Hong Kong

Country: Hong Kong

Location: Ocean Park (amusement park)

Date: 30 November 2008

Panda: Peace (An An)

Details:

From the Associated Press:

HONG KONG (AP) — A giant panda named Peace bit a park keeper’s left leg while he was laying bamboo leaves in the animal’s pen at a Hong Kong amusement park, officials said Tuesday.

The park staffer was recovering well in hospital after the attack at Ocean Park, which has four giant pandas from China, park spokeswoman Christie Lau said.

Lau said park officials were still investigating the Nov. 30 incident involving the male panda, whose name, An An, means “peace” in Mandarin. Lau declined to provide further details.

A park visitor posted a video clip on YouTube that allegedly shows the post-attack scene, with the keeper in a green park uniform crawling out of the panda pen as the furry animal runs back into its den.

The mass-market Apple Daily newspaper quoted an unidentified park employee as saying the keeper did not follow proper protocol, which requires locking pandas in their sleeping dens before putting bamboo leaves in their habitat.

Although pandas look cute and cuddly, they are wild animals that can be violent when provoked or startled.

Last month, a panda bit a college student in the southern Chinese city of Guilin after the student went into the animal’s enclosure and tried to hug it.

A gift from the mainland Chinese government, An An arrived in Hong Kong in 1999 with female consort Jia Jia from the southwestern province of Sichuan. Another two giant pandas were also moved to the territory last year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this former British colony’s return to Chinese rule.



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