Lion bites N.Y. zookeeper during ‘routine feeding’
Utica first responders treated an injured zookeeper after they “came in contact” with a male African lion
By Paloma Chavez
The Charlotte Observer
UTICA, N.Y. — A New York zoo was closed to the public for a day after a zookeeper was bitten by a lion, officials said.
First responders were called to Utica Zoo about an “animal bite” on Tuesday, Oct. 17, the Utica Fire Department said in a Facebook post. A zookeeper was doing a “routine feeding and closing procedure” when they “came in contact” with one of the male African lions and were injured, the zoo said in a news release.
The keeper was sent to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, the zoo said.
During the incident, the lions didn’t have access to the outside of their enclosure and no other staff or any members of the public were put at risk, officials said.
The zoo said it contacted the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to inform it of the attack.
“There will be no punitive action against our lions,” Andria Heath, executive director of the Utica Zoo, said in the release. “An incident occurred which is being reviewed, will be learned from and we are all grateful our staff and animals are okay.”
The zookeeper was released from the hospital on Oct. 17, according to WKTV.
McClatchy News reached out to Utica Zoo on Oct. 18 for more information and is awaiting a response.
The zoo said it would remain closed Wednesday, Oct. 18, to allow staff “time to focus on the care of themselves, as well as the animals” and reopen Thursday, Oct. 19.
Utica is about 250 miles northwest of New York City.