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Keeper hurt at Wellington Zoo

Media Release
10 January 2006

Keeper hurt at Wellington Zoo

A Wellington Zoo Keeper was hurt by the Zoo’s juvenile male lions during routine servicing of their enclosure today, Wellington Zoo CEO Alison Lash said.

“Bob Bennett has been admitted overnight to Wellington Hospital for observation. He has superficial lacerations and a neck injury the Hospital would like to monitor,” Alison said.

“We are very relieved that Bob was not seriously hurt and that the public were at no time at any risk. All Bob’s workmates are thinking of him and his wife and kids,”

“We have conducted an initial debrief this afternoon but we are still not entirely clear as to the exact sequence of events. Some of the details will need to be filled in by Bob when he is able to talk to us,”

“We are undertaking a full review of the incident to establish exactly what happened and to identify any necessary changes to procedure, if any,”

“We have emergency response protocols which we practise and we have established that those protocols were followed. The incident was handled extremely quickly and emergency services were on the scene within minutes,”

“It was a lovely sunny day at the Zoo and there were a large number of visitors around, some of whom witnessed the incident. We made every effort to speak to all of those people before they left the Zoo, but if there are any members of the public who have information that might be useful to us, we ask that they contact the Zoo on 381 6755,”

“Although Zoo staff are aware that the animals they work with are not tame, it is shocking to be brought face to face with that reality. All staff and public witnesses who we spoke to have been offered counselling. The lions are unharmed and acting as normal,”

ENDS

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