Panda attacks man who wanted hug

Nov. 22, 2008 at 10:57 AM

GUILIN, China, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A Chinese college student who wanted to hug a panda bear climbed into its pen, but instead of getting a cuddle he was mauled by the animal, officials said.

The student ignored warning signs cautioning visitors to not climb over the panda cage fences at the Qixing Park Zoo in Guilin, China, hopping into a the bear's pen Friday, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Officials said the panda, named Yangyang, was frightened by the 20-year-old's attempts to hug it and responded by inflicting multiple bites on the student, identified only as Liu. The young man sustained injuries to his arms and legs and was said to be recovering after an operation.

"Yangyang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him," Liu told Xinhua at the No. 2 People's Hospital in Guilin Saturday. "I didn't expect he would attack … I don't remember how many bites I got."

Yangyang is a male, 8-year-old panda. The incident apparently didn't affect the panda because it was back to eating and playing as normal shortly after the incident, officials said.

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