Saturday, November 22, 2008

Moron Report #24: Panda Bites Idiot

One of the reasons why I am not an animal rights activist is because most animals deep down are ignorant and not infrequently violent, although I suppose one could say the same for us. Meet Chinese undergraduate student Liu. He thought it would be a swell idea to jump into a Panda bear's preserve and give him a hug.

Panda in China zoo bites student who wanted a hug

By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer Audra Ang, Associated Press Writer Sat Nov 22, 10:18 am ET

BEIJING – A college student in southern China was bitten by a panda after he broke into the bear's enclosure hoping to get a hug, state media and a park employee said Saturday.

The student was visiting Qixing Park with classmates on Friday when he jumped the 6.5-foot (2-meter) -high fence around the panda's habitat, said the park employee, who refused to give his name.

The park in Guilin, a popular tourist town in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, houses a small zoo and a panda exhibit. It was virtually deserted when the student scaled the fence surrounding the panda, named Yang Yang, the employee said.

He said the student was bitten in the arms and legs. Two foreign visitors who saw the attack ran to get help from workers at a nearby refreshment stand, who notified park officials, the employee said.

The student was pale as he was taken away by medics but appeared clear-headed, he said.

"Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn't expect he would attack," the 20-year-old student, surnamed Liu, said in a local hospital, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Liu underwent surgery Friday evening and was out of danger, but will remain in the hospital for several days, Xinhua said.

Yang Yang, who was flown to Guilin last year from Sichuan province, was behaving normally on Saturday and did not seem to suffer any negative psychological effects, the park employee said.

He said it was not clear whether the facility would add more signs around the enclosure or put more fences up.

"We cannot make it like a prison. We already have signs up warning people not to climb in," he said. "There are no fences along roads but people know not to cross if there are cars. This is basic knowledge."

Pandas, which generally have a public image as cute, gentle creatures, are nonetheless wild animals that can be violent when provoked or startled.

Last year, a panda at the Beijing Zoo attacked a teenager, ripping chunks out of his legs, when he jumped a barrier while the bear was being fed.

The same panda was in the news in 2006 when he bit a drunk tourist who broke into his enclosure and tried to hug him while he was asleep.The tourist retaliated by biting the bear in the back.

This is not my favorite man-meets-animal-blunder story, though. With apologies to Roy Horn, my personal favorite is this Ukrainian Christian a couple of years ago who wandered into a lion's cage at his local zoo, believing he would live to tell the tale, because the good Lord would protect him from the said lions.

Lion Kills Man Who Went Into Kiev Zoo Cage

The Associated Press
Monday, June 5, 2006; 10:38 AM

KIEV, Ukraine -- A lion killed a man who climbed into its enclosure at the Kiev zoo, police said Monday.

The lion attacked the 45-year-old Ukrainian late Sunday after he used a rope to climb down into an enclosure with four lions, said police spokesman Volodymyr Polishchuk.

Ukrainian TV channel NTN broadcast interviews with witnesses who said the man told them that he believed God would not allow the lions to hurt him.

Polishchuk said the man, who was not identified, was acting aggressively and one of the lions seized him by the throat. The man died at the scene.

Zoo officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Apparently, God was out to lunch.

So, do not feel so bad, Liu. The Pandas were nicer than they should have been.

Strange enough, I have been to that park, and three years ago I saw one of the Pandas there. Usually, the Pandas are sensitive to humans and will try to avoid getting near people, so you really have to catch one off guard to be able to get your arms around him/her. Hey, it could have been worse. Just ask these two Americans who were rear-ended during the Running of the Bulls.

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