Condition of Man Mauled by Brown Bear at San Diego Zoo Improves From Serious to Fair

<i> Associated Press</i>

The condition of a man who was mauled after he climbed into the Manchurian brown bear enclosure at the San Diego Zoo was upgraded to fair following surgery, a hospital spokeswoman said Saturday.

The man remained at Mercy Hospital after surgery Friday to close a gash in his groin, said spokeswoman Linda Yamamoto.

He had been in serious condition but was upgraded overnight, she said. He was to undergo psychiatric evaluation, according to police.

Zoo authorities found the man sitting in a small pool in the enclosure that houses two bears. A female bear attacked him. Keepers used high-pressure hoses and fire extinguisher blasts to push and frighten the bears back into their dens.

The Manchurian brown bear is one of the larger of the Asian bear species, found primarily in China. It is not aggressive by nature but will respond to territorial threats. It prefers a diet of roots and bulbs.