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Today, a drunken man visiting the Beijing Zoo climbed into the panda habitat - and there was also "hugging" and biting. Reports say that 35 year old Zhang Xinyan had drunk "four draught beers" before heading to the zoo, where he was suddenly overcome with a desire to touch Gu Gu, a 6 year old male panda. Gu Gu freaked out and bit Zhang's, so then Zhang bit back. Zookeepers managed to get Gu Gu off Zhang by using a hose, and Zhang was taken to a hospital for stitches on his leg. The AP reports:

The Beijing Youth Daily quoted Zhang as saying that he had seen pandas on television and "they seemed to get along well with people."

"No one ever said they would bite people," Zhang said. "I just wanted to touch it. I was so dizzy from the beer. I don't remember much."

Ye Mingxia, a spokeswoman for the Beijing Zoo, confirmed the incident happened but would not give any details. She said Gu Gu was "healthy."

"We're not considering punishing [Zhang] now," Ye said in a telephone interview. "He's suffered quite a bit of shock."

Yes, pandas look very friendly on TV, but that's because the pandas in question are little cubs or the people are trained zookeepers that the pandas know! Even though we harbor a dream of hugging a panda, we know that climbing over the fence at the zoo isn't the way to go about that. Plus, some drunk person trying to hug an animal is totally trouble - if Zhang tried that at a bar, he'd be punched in the face! At any rate, the Beijing Zoo just installed new signs that read "To avoid danger do not climb over the railing."

Last week, NBC had a news segment about the panda boom at the Chengdu research facility; if you watch this video, you'll see the panda cubs crawling all over reporter Mark Mullen. We saw the outtakes during Countdown, and Mullen clearly says that the panda cubs are biting him and that they refuse to let go of him. There are two famous incidents of polar bears killing New Yorkers: Back in 1982, a man climbed into the polar bear area at the Central Park Zoo, while an 11 year old, who entered the zoo on a dare, was mauled by polar bears at the Prospect Park Zoo in 1987.

Photograph of police observing Gu Gu at the Beijing Zoo by Greg Baker/AP