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Bau Bau, world’s oldest Giant Panda dies at 34

Bau Bau, who at 34 was the world’s oldest known giant panda, has died in the Berlin Zoo.

Apart from his longevity, Bau Bau was perhaps best known for attacking female Ming Ming in 1992, when Bao Bao was on a “breeding loan” to the London Zoo. Ming Ming’s ear was partially detached during the fight.


May 2011, China

Country: China

Location: Wuhan Zoo, Hubei

Date: 2 May 2011

Panda: Hope


Hope, a five year-old male panda in Wuhan Zoo, chased and killed a peacock that had strayed into its enclosure. Although peacocks often entered the panda area from their neighbouring enclosure, this is the first time that one had been killed. The Telegraph reported:

Chen Jun, zoo keeper, said: “In spite of the general impression of being docile, panda is after all an animal. As an omnivorous animal though, giant panda sometimes eats meat.

“As you can see at the video, the panda reacted quite fast and ran at a surprising speed.”

March 2011, USA

Country: USA

Location: San Diego Zoo, San Diego

Date: 13 March 2011

Panda: Bai Yun (White Cloud)


Nineteen year-old female panda Bai Yun apparently pushed her way through an unlocked gate meant to separate her from her keepers. When the keepers attempted to herd her back through the gate, Bai Yun attacked one of them.

Continue reading ‘March 2011, USA’

Tai Shan going to China, parents hoping for new cub

Four year-old panda Tai Shan will be leaving the National Zoo in Washington, DC, USA to go to China sometime after the end of January 2010. You may recall Tai Shan, whose name means “peaceful mountain”, from his March 2008 attack on his keeper. All of the giant pandas in the US, including those born in captivity like Tai Shan, belong to China. According to UPI, the zoo is planning to send Tai Shan off with a party on 30 January.

Meanwhile, Tai Shan’s mother Mei Xian has been artificially inseminated. Tai Shan was the product of a successful artificial insemination and was born at the National Zoo.

Old news in panda attacks by Gu Gu

For some unknown reason, AP republished the story of an October 2007 attack on a teen by Gu Gu, a male panda at the Beijing Zoo. The article is entitled “Panda attacks teeen in zoo enclosure” and is dated 31 March 2009. This isn’t a new attack. Presumably human error or a technical glitch are responsible for this republishing.

A few Australian papers seem to have picked this up (like The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) and it has made its way onto a few blogs. No other newspapers seem to have reported it, so it may have been an isolated Australian problem.

Poor Gu Gu. Even when he hasn’t attacked anyone for months, he can’t keep the media from ruining his good name…

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?

October 2006, China

Country: China

Location: Wolong Panda Reserve in Sichuan Province

Date: October 2006

Panda: unknown cub


An American tourist at the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center had part of her thumb bitten off while feeding a panda cub. Foreign tourists pay to be a volunteer at the Center, which usually includes feeding and interacting with pandas. The AP reports:

She was wearing gloves and feeding the panda bamboo on Tuesday morning when “suddenly, the panda bit into her thumb,” Xinhua said.

“When she cried out, the cub became excited and gripped more tightly,” it said. “Lisa finally managed to wrench herself free.”

About 20 percent of the thumb had been bitten off, Xinhua said.

Earlier post about an attack at the Wolong Reserve

Link: Panda cub bites hand that feeds it:
American woman loses part of thumb at feeding center in southwest China



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