A man in China’s northwestern Gansu province has successfully sued local forestry officials after a botched panda capture drove one of the animals onto his property, which later ended up mauling him. According to Time, Guan Quanzhi has been awarded more than $80,000 in compensation for the attack, most of which will go toward his ongoing medical bills. The man was reported to have undergone a strenuous seven-hour surgery immediately following the attack last year.
Despite their 99 percent bamboo diet and docile appearance, pandas can be dangerous creatures. One would do well to remember that pandas are still bears, and like most bears, they are quite capable of defending themselves with a massive amount of muscle power. There have been many instances in which pandas in captivity have attacked unsuspecting tourists. According to AFP, forestry officials from Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve were attempting to capture one of the pandas there when the animal led workers on a chase outside of the forest and into Liziba village.
“I saw a panda jump out in front of me, its body completely covered in mud,” the victim told Lanzhou Evening News.
Witnesses recalled the panda gripping Guan by the leg and biting him until one of his neighbors covered the animal’s head with a coat. Forestry officials were not able to recapture the animal after the attack.
“When the giant panda sunk its teeth into my leg the pain was indescribable. Blood was everywhere,” Guan told the People’s Daily Online.
Although smaller than most North American bears, an adult panda can still weigh well over 200 pounds. The creatures are also territorial and will act aggressively when they feel threatened. Still, officials say that panda attacks are rare, especially due to the creature’s endangered status. There are about 100 pandas living in the Baishuijiang reserve and only about 1,000 to 3,000 worldwide.
You can see a clip of the Baishuijiang pandas taken by this remote camera in Gansu.