Wed, Apr 15, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Berlin zoo promises no changes despite polar bear attack

AP , BERLIN

The Berlin zoo doesn’t plan to change security measures even after a polar bear attacked a woman who managed to jump into the bears’ enclosure last week, an incident caught on video.

“It is already safe,” zoo spokesman Heiner Kloes said on Monday.

The woman, who has not been identified, climbed down a fence, over a wide hedge full of thorns and got past a concrete wall before swan diving into the murky moat where the polar bears swim.

One of four bears in the enclosure bit the woman’s arms, legs and back before keepers rescued her with a life preserver.

The woman was taken to Berlin’s Charite hospital for treatment and is still recovering, the Bild newspaper reported on Monday.

It was not clear what made the woman circumvent all those security measures and jump in with four large, fully grown polar bears. Police did not provide any motive for the incident.

Last year, a man who said celebrity polar bear Knut looked “lonely” hurdled over a water-filled ditch into his enclosure at the same zoo. The 37-year-old emerged unscathed after keepers lured Knut away with a leg of beef.

Despite visitors’ repeated attempts to hug the bears, keepers have no plans to change the zoo’s setup. The concrete wall protecting the polar bears’ enclosure will not be built up higher than its current 90cm, nor will more guards be posted, Kloes said.

“People who want to jump in will always find a way,” he said.

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