Panda Bites Unwelcome Visitor

September 27, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: September 27, 2006 12:00 am

On September 19, a man jumped into the Panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo. He wanted to shake hands with the panda, but was bitten instead. The injured man is in a stable condition after receiving medical treatment.

Beijing's Jinhua Times reported that at around 2 p.m. on September 19, people heard screaming from the Panda enclosure. A young man was inside the outdoor panda playground and a panda was biting his right leg, through his pants, which were torn and bloodied.

Zoo staff ran over immediately and started spraying water at the panda. When the panda let the young man go, a staff member instructed the young man to climb into a nearby den.

Ten minutes later, officers from the Zoo Police Station arrived and sent the injured man to hospital. Zhang Xinyan was treated for a bleeding wound on the lower part of his right leg. The doctor said Zhang was given rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin injections. He also required surgery to close the leg wound.

The victim is a bricklayer from Zhoukou city in Henan province. After finishing a construction project, he decided to visit Beijing before returning to his rural home. Zhang Xinyan had a few beers, and then entered the zoo grounds. When he arrived at the Panda enclosure, he saw a panda lying in the outdoor playground. He felt like touching the panda, so he took off his jacket and jumped over the fence.

The panda immediately got up and rushed towards Zhang Xinyan. At first, the panda sniffed at Zhang's right leg. Zhang wanted to shake hands with a panda, so he stretched his hand towards the animal. Suddenly the panda pushed him to the ground and starting gnawing on his right leg.

In a TV interview, Zhang Xinyan said, “I saw pandas on TV eating bamboo and shaking hands with people. I never imagined that it would bite me.”