CHENGDU, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- It is the best of jobs, it is the worst of jobs.
Many people told Wei Hua, a panda keeper in southwest China's Sichuan Province, that were jealous seeing him playing with the cute cubs, but no one saw the moment when the 41-year-old had both wrists broken by a panda.
Holding a master degree of wildlife protection, Wei quit work in the zoo of Nanning, capital city of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, three years ago.
He then became a keeper in the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
Wei's job was to train pandas in Wolong National Nature Reserve so that they could survive when released into the wild.
"I like Wolong, where I have more chances to take part in wild panda research and protection," he said.
The Tiantai Mountain training center where he worked was 2,500 to 3,100 meters above sea level. The work is not as easy as some panda lovers had imagined.
Wei was usually wet through with sweat after cleaning pandas' shacks. In rainy days the excrement of pandas could make him smelly. When the weather was bad, Wei and his colleagues stayed in the forest all day long, eating cold bread and drinking water from the stream. The reserve is also prone to disasters such as landslides.
"But my efforts paid off when I saw the cute animals grow up healthy," he said with a smile.
One of his favorite pandas there is Ximei, a female panda sent for training a fortnight ago.
"She is graceful and smart," Wei wrote in his diary. "She loves playing with water, and she likes to be pretty."
His work every day was to keep records. In the following two days, Wei didn't see Ximei's daughter Baxi.
"Could she have been involved in some accident?" he wondered.
On Dec. 17, he decided to go into training area to find Baxi.
After searching, they finally found her monitor signal. "So you are here," said the delighted Wei while he was approaching the panda. "I have been worried about you for two days. Don't hide from me again."
As they were about to leave, Ximei appeared all of a sudden. In a bid to protect her daughter, she attacked the keepers.
When Wei Hua was rescued, his hat and glasses were gone. He had a deep cut on the head, a broken finger bone was visible, and his trousers were wet with blood.
In the hospital, doctors found the tendon on his foot as well as his wrists were broken. He also had a third of his left palm bitten off.
"The first question he asked when he saw us was 'are the pandas all right?'" his colleague Qiu Yu said.
Wei is one of the four panda keepers in the training center. "Where there are pandas, there are panda keepers," Qiu said. "They monitor the pandas' condition, and collect first-hand data. In the depths of mountains, they pave the way for pandas to go back to the wild."