Two lions who mauled a woman at a zoo in NSW’s south will not be euthanised.
A 35-year-old keeper at Shoalhaven Zoo suffered serious neck and facial injuries last week while in the lion enclosure. It’s believed she was cleaning it at the time.
The keeper, named as Jen Brown, “is making good progress in her recovery”, the zoo said in a statement on Thursday. She was initially hospitalised in a critical condition.
The zoo’s owner Nicholas Schilko added the lions would not be put down.
“I can say that Jen knows these lions, who are 18 months old, very well and has a history of positive interaction with them,” he said.
“The keepers who went to her aid indicated that the two young lions showed no aggression, but it’s tragic that this interaction has resulted in serious lacerations to their keeper."
NSW Ambulance duty operations manager Inspector Faye Stockmen said the incident was one of the “worst jobs she has ever experienced”.
“I have never come across a job like this in my career. It was absolutely harrowing,” she said.
“It is an incredibly dangerous situations, both for the patient and the paramedics.
“Being the first to walk into the enclosure was one of the most frightening experiences – we literally had to walk into a lion’s den.
“The attack was extremely vicious and paramedics found the woman with severe injuries.”
SafeWork NSW is investigating the incident.
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