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Traumatized panda loses appetite
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Gugu, the Beijing Zoo panda involved in the attack on a visitor who entered his enclosure on January 7, has been traumatized by the incident and has lost his appetite, his keepers told The Beijing News on January 9.

The keepers are taking care of the panda in a special recuperation cage. "Gugu used to have a good appetite, but he's not eating well at the moment," said one of the keepers.

The panda mauled a visitor named Zhang Xiao who climbed into his enclosure to retrieve a lost toy for his son. Zhang's legs were badly injured and he was sent to hospital immediately after the attack.

Zhang underwent a five-hour operation Wednesday, and was subsequently kept in hospital. According to his family, the attack caused severe injuries to his ligaments and it will take one to two years and further operations for the wounds to heal. "We never thought a seemingly mild panda could be so ferocious and react so quickly," said one family member.

The zoo has refused any further compensation for the victim after paying 5,000 yuan (US$731.5) towards his medical expenses. According to the police in the zoo, Zhang will not be punished despite his rash behavior, which resulted in the closure of the panda zone for several hours.

(China.org.cn by Wu Jin, January 9, 2008)

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