The zoo manager said in a report that the man was lucky that Mei Ling, a 12-year-old male giant panda weighing nearly 265 pounds, was playful at the time or the man might have been seriously hurt.
Giant pandas might appear cute and timid, but they could turn dangerous if agitated and cause serious injuries with their jaws and sharp claws, the manager said.
According to the report, the man scaled a fence and jumped across a 9-foot ditch to reach the panda. The animal appeared to be asleep but when the man tried to touch its head, the panda jumped up and grabbed his legs, knocking him down.
After about a minute, the panda loosened its grip and the man managed to escape unharmed.