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Australian Woman Mauled By Polar Bear in Zoo

July 30, 1994 GMT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ An Australian tourist who apparently wanted close-up pictures of a polar bear was badly mauled after getting too close.

Kathryn Warburton, 29, of Sydney suffered a broken leg and bite wounds after the attack Friday at the Alaska Zoo, police said.

Zoo visitor Gary Paul said he saw Warburton climb over a wooden fence and a steel safety railing to get within a couple of feet of the bear’s cage.

″I saw the bear make his move, and said ‘Look out 3/8,’ but the bear’s paws were already through the bars,″ Paul said.

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Zoo director Sammye Seawell blamed Warburton for ignoring the warning signs. ″That bear’s like lightning - like a bullet,″ she said.

Seawell said she doesn’t expect anything to happen to the bear, a male named Binky.

″A lot of people are up in arms about this,″ she said. ″They’re saying ‘Don’t you let them do anything to that bear.’ And they won’t as long as I have anything to say about it.″