A recently released dossier has revealed a number of accidents at British zoos, including one involving a vet who was gored by a bison he had been sent to euthanize.
The attacks were among 65 incidents at zoos and safari parks in 2022 reported to the Health and Safety Executive because of the severity of the injuries.
The accidents included a vet attacked by a bison he was to euthanize at Port Lympne Safari Park, in Kent. The animal is said to have thrown the vet “ten feet into the air” during the attack.
Some 39 of the incidents involved members of the public, while another 26 involved zoo staff. The incidents included a visitor who broke their wrist by the leopard enclosure after tripping at Marwell Zoo, in Hampshire.
In Kew Gardens, west London, an employee broke their collarbone when they tripped over a speed hump while looking at a notebook, reports express.co.uk.
Last month a veteran zookeeper was mauled to death by a lion when he attempted to lure it into a cave for its lunch. Kenichi Kato had been feeding the big cat at Tohoku Safari Park when he is feared to have forgotten to lock the cage separating man from beast.
He was found bleeding badly from his neck where the lion had grabbed him by its powerful jaws. He was rushed to hospital but later died from his wounds.
The 53-year-old had worked at the popular zoo in the Fukushima region of Japan for 27 years. It is unknown how he made the error leading to his tragic death.
A spokesman for the zoo said: “’The process is we open the door, and place the food. Once the food is placed, the door is to be closed and locked.
“We deeply apologize to Mr. Kato and his family. We regard this extremely seriously. We will take measures to prevent similar accidents.” The zoo is said to be closed for the next few days as a result of the tragedy.
And last year a keeper in a private zoo was mauled to death when he tried to pet a tiger during feeding time. Horrific footage of the attack – filmed in Periban, western Mexico – showed the keeper calling out to the big cat to get over to a chain link fence.
But as he started to stroke the tiger’s neck, the big cat’s mood changes and it sank its claws into the keeper’s right hand. As the keeper, named as Jose de Jesus, 23, screams in agony, the tiger pulls his hand towards its jaws and razor-sharp teeth.