Archive for the '2009' Category

What makes Gu Gu the panda attack?

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?


January 2009, China

Country: China

Location: Beijing Zoo

Date: 8 January 2009

Panda: Gu Gu


You might remember Gu Gu from the earlier reports when he bit a drunken intruder’s legs, and when he “tore chunks of flesh” off the legs of a 15 year old boy. Well, those events weren’t enough to stop someone else from entering Gu Gu’s enclosure. With similar results. A man climbed into the enclosure to “to retrieve a toy dropped by his 5-year-old son”. The AP reports:

Gu Gu, a 240-pound (110-kilogram) panda, mauled the man’s legs and refused to let go until zookeepers pried his jaws open with tools, said a zoo spokeswoman surnamed Gong. She would not give her full name, as is common among Chinese officials.

Fox News has a picture of the injured man. No word on whether zoo officials returned the toy.

Panda bites third tourist in 2 years at Beijing zoo; jaws had to be pried open with tools



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