Visual Stories

Video: Alaska Zoo's Binky the polar bear injures tourist

Recently uploaded footage from the Associated Press Archive shows the infamous July 30, 1994 mauling of an Australian tourist by Binky, a polar bear housed at the Alaska Zoo.

Twenty-one years ago, Australian tourist Kathryn Warburton decided to climb over two fences surrounding the polar bear exhibit for a photo opportunity. Binky proceeded to attack Warburton, and in the footage bystanders are seen trying to beat the polar bear away as it bites and claws at her leg.

Warburton survived the attack, though she suffered a broken leg and lost a shoe. Speaking from the hospital a few days after the attack, she called her intrusion into the polar bear exhibit's perimeter "the dumbest thing I've ever done."

The story took off internationally, and an image of Binky with the shoe hanging from his mouth was featured on a popular T-shirt.

Six weeks later, Binky mauled a teenager who snuck into the zoo late at night and got too close to the polar bear cage.

The polar bear exhibit was later changed to prevent tourists from jumping the fences. Binky died in 1995.

To submit your video to Alaska Dispatch News contact Tara Young at tara(at)