Melania Trump happily fed a giant panda in Beijing that has mauled three people. The first lady posted photos Sunday on Twitter of her getting as close as she could get to the 24o-pound panda that was in a Silence of the Lambs-type of enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, Daily Mail reports.
Eighteen-year-old Gu Gu was taking long bamboo sticks from Melania Trump at the zoo, showing no outward signs of aggression. President Donald Trump’s wife looked far from worried about the bear’s troubled past as she gave him his food through a long hatch that led to his caged enclosure.
In her tweet of the photos, Melania Trump was seen stroking the paw of Gu Gu as he reached out to her, and she appeared to genuinely enjoy interacting with the furry animal. There wasn’t any hesitation on her part to get down to the panda’s level and get acquainted with him. By all accounts, the bear’s feelings seemed mutual.
Daily Mail reports that in 2006, a drunken zoo visitor aggravated Gu Gu by jumping into his enclosure and surprising him with a hug. Gu Gu responded by biting the man’s legs and the man started to strike him. Zoo staff had to spray the panda with water to stop the mauling.
A few months later that same year, a 15-year-old boy also jumped into the enclosure out of “curiosity” and again, Gu Gu bit his legs; the wounds were more serious as they were down to the bone and skin was tore off.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 11, 2017
The third time Gu Gu mauled someone was in 2009 when a father attempted to retrieve his son’s toy inside the bear’s enclosure. He thought none of the pandas were around when he tried to inconspicuously get the item, but overlooked Gu Gu. He was mauled on his legs, but that time, staff had to use tools in order to pry the animal’s mouth open. The victim had ligament surgery afterward.
Gu Gu was born at the Beijing Zoo in 1999.
Melania Trump also met with some school children at the zoo and spent some time with another panda bear, Meng’er. It’s unknown if he had a history of violence like Gu Gu.
[Featured Image by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]