Reports of Giant Panda Attacking Humans
- Giant pandas bred in city zoos rarely attack humans.
- They belong to the Carnivora order and are usually found in the Chinese provinces which include Gansu and Sichuan.
- They are considered a national treasure in China.
- The giant panda is regarded as having a gentle temperament and is protected under the First-Grade State Protection Act by the Chinese Government.
- There had been three cases of giant panda attacks on humans at the Panda House at Beijing Zoo.
- The reports serve as a warning to people that giant pandas can have dangerous behavior.
- On September 19, 2006, an intoxicated male tourist was attacked when he jumped into the giant panda enclosure and tried to pet it.
- The victim’s right calf was bitten severely and was diagnosed as an open injury with a skin defect.
- The bite area was entirely irregular with many small wounds.
- On January 7, 2009, another male tourist was attacked by a giant panda when he fell into the enclosure.
- The victim’s left calf was bitten severely and was diagnosed as an open composited injury with a skin defect.
- On June 7, 2009, a third male tourist was attacked by a giant panda when he fell into the enclosure.
- The third victim’s left foot and right elbow joint were bitten.
- All victims received a free latissimus dorsi muscle flap to cover their skin defects.
- The latissimus dorsi flap is one of the most commonly used flaps in reconstructive surgery.
- Dogs, bears, pigs, sharks, wolves, and monkeys are among the other animals that rarely attack humans.
- However, the giant panda attack has not been previously reported.
- Researchers speculated that giant pandas may attack due to being infuriated and frightened.
- In one of the cases, the giant panda did not let go of the victim’s leg even though the victim tried numerous approaches to get the panda to release his leg.
- When the zookeeper arrived for help, the victim was able to escape from the panda’s bite.
- Carnivora are characterized as having powerful jaws and teeth adapted for tearing flesh.
- However, giant pandas mostly eat bamboo compared with the other species of Carnivora.
- A study has shown that the change in giant pandas’ food choices during their evolutionary process has something to do with dopamine metabolic involvement.
- Giant panda attacks are rare in clinical work and treatment was almost the same as other animal attacks.
Zhang, P., Wang, T., Xiong, J., Xue, F., Xu, H., Chen, J., Zhang, D., Fu, Z., & Jiang, B. (2014). Three cases giant panda attack on human at Beijing Zoo. International journal of clinical and experimental medicine, 7 (11), 4515–4518. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4276236