Giant panda Bai Yun bites keeper at San Diego Zoo
The unusual incident occurred Sunday morning when Bai Yun, a 220-pound female, was able to push open a gate to the exhibit. As keepers were trying to herd her back into her "sleeping habitat," the animal bit a female keeper on the arm.
Officials declined to provide details on the keeper's medical condition but noted that pandas have powerful jaws. Zoo protocol calls for keepers to always keep a gate between themselves and the pandas.
"Most bears have a volatile temperament," said a spokeswoman, "and can suddenly become aggressive. Bai Yun is a normal panda who was in an abnormal area."
Bai Yun, now 19, came to the San Diego Zoo from China in 1996. She has given birth to five cubs.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Bai Yun, with her cub Zhen Zhen in 2007. Credit: Denis Poroy / Associated Press