Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Giant panda Bai Yun bites keeper at San Diego Zoo

March 14, 2011 |  8:28 pm

Bai Yun, with her cub Zhen Zhen in 2007.  Click through for a larger photo. A giant panda at the San Diego Zoo bit a keeper on the arm, requiring the keeper to be rushed to the hospital, zoo officials said Monday.,

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.


Toxic algae may have played role in huge fish die-off

2 rescued horses to join L.A. sheriff's mounted patrol

Workers scoop up thousands of dead sardines after freeway spill

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Bai Yun, with her cub Zhen Zhen in 2007. Credit: Denis Poroy / Associated Press