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23 September 2006

Bears and beers

Gu GuALCOHOL BLURS the vision as we all know. But who knew that beer could make a sleeping panda resemble a beer drinker's wife in his eyes?

Zhang Xinyan knew, and it got him to a panda-monic brawl and a hospital bed afterwards.

The unbearable story goes this way. Last Tuesday, the 35-year-old Chinese migrant got drunk, visited the Beijing Zoo, saw the sleeping 6-year-old panda bear named Gu Gu, entered his den, and decided to hug him. “I just wanted to touch it,” recalled Zhang. “I was so dizzy from the beer. I don't remember much.”

Well, we do remember what happened next. Startled (and possibly insulted for the rude awakening), Gu Gu bit Xinyan's leg. Angered (and possibly insulted for the rude welcome), Zhang bit Gu Gu's back and then delivered a kick for good measure. Gu Gu bit the leg that kicked, and a scuffle ensued for 15 minutes. Guess who won.

“Its skin was quite thick,” Zhang reflected later, lying on the hospital bed with blood-soaked bandages. I am sure this biting remark would have merited a retort from Gu Gu: “Yeah, and his face was thick enough to mistake me for a wife!”

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