22 Nov 2008

Injured student just wanted to cuddle 'cute' panda bear

10:31 pm on 22 November 2008

A panda at a zoo in southern China attacked a student who snuck into its pen hoping for a cuddle with the endangered bear.

The 20-year-old male student named as Liu jumped over the fence at the zoo in Guilin, the touristic sister city of Hastings, ignoring warning signs, the Chinese state media said.

"The panda, named Yangyang, was wide awake. Apparently scared by the intruder, he bit at Liu's arms and legs," an unnamed worker said after zoo keepers managed to calm the bear and rescue Liu, the report said.

"Yangyang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him," Liu said from his hospital bed. "I didn't expect he would attack."

Scientists believe fewer than 2,000 giant pandas live in the wild in China.