It was simply bad luck when Ding Ding, the son of an Anhui visitor called Zhang Xiao, dropped a panda toy into the panda enclosure at Beijing Zoo. But when the father leapt over the fence to pick up the toy, a giant panda attacked him from behind, causing severe injuries to his legs.
Gugu, a nine-year old male panda, knocked Zhang Xiao down and bit his left leg at Beijing Zoo in the afternoon of January 7.
The unfortunate incident happened in the afternoon of January 7 at the panda zone in Beijing Zoo, and Zhang Xiao was admitted to hospital afterwards. His legs bleeding and badly gashed, he moaned with pain after the fierce mauling from the panda, The Beijing News
Zhang and Ding Ding, his five-year-old son, were on a visit to his relatives in Beijing. On January 7, they visited the zoo with Dong Junxi, Zhang's brother-in-law, and Ding Ding was desperate to see the pandas. To please his son, Zhang bought him a panda toy, but the boy dropped the toy into the panda's enclosure by accident.
Seeing no pandas around, Zhang jumped over the fence to retrieve the toy. "We were shocked to see a panda rushing at him from a distance of no more than 10 meters," Dong said. According to Dong, Zhang made to escape, but some bystanders, thinking the panda was harmless, urged him to stand his ground. Zhang stayed where he was and the panda made its attack, knocking Zhang down and biting his left leg. Dong jumped into the enclosure to rescue his brother-in-law, trying to drag the panda off, but his efforts were in vain as the panda went on to maul Zhang's right leg.
A 40-year-old zookeeper rushed to the scene and called for help from his fellow keepers. In minutes, the rescuers used hand tools to separate the panda from its victim.
The attacker, named Gugu, a nine-year old male, was sent to Beijing from the Wolong panda reserve in Sichuan Province in October 2004. Although the attack was severe, Zhang, who has undergone surgery and been given an anti-rabies vaccine, has no life-threatening injuries.
According to the zoo's operators, the victim's behavior was rash and in contravention of clear warnings outside the enclosure. A keeper who was only 10 meters from Zhang had tried to dissuade him, but he simply didn't listen. The zoo's press office pointed out that the zoo has paid the victim's medical costs in advance and has submitted the case for investigation.