Panda at San Diego Zoo wanders out of habitat, bites zookeeper - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Panda at San Diego Zoo wanders out of habitat, bites zookeeper

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The biting of a zoo keeper was a reminder that giant pandas, while cute, are still wild animals, a San Diego Zoo spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The keeper was bitten Sunday by Bai Yun in a back area of the panda exhibit while the park was closed, according to Christina Simmons, who declined to identify or reveal information about the employee's condition, citing a privacy policy.

The worker was reportedly taken to a hospital for treatment.

"It is something to remember -- giant pandas appear very cuddly but they are wild bears and it is important to remember that at all times," Simmons said.

Zoo employees are required to keep out of areas containing adult bears or other large carnivorous predators unless they are sedated, she said.

According to Simmons, the worker was in an separate area of the panda exhibit but Bai Yun pushed open a door and wandered over to the keeper.

It was the first such incident involving a panda, she said.

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