A zookeeper has been rushed to hospital in a critical condition after an "extremely vicious" attack by two lions in Nowra, on the NSW South Coast on Friday.
The Shoalhaven Zoo keeper, a 35-year-old woman, has suffered serious neck and facial injuries, according to NSW Ambulance.
Paramedics were called to the zoo at Nowra at 10.20am after receiving reports of an unconscious zookeeper in the lion enclosure. It is believed the lions attacked her while she was cleaning the area.
Several ambulance crews attended the scene to treat the woman for numerous lacerations before a rescue helicopter flew her to St George Hospital.
Two of the woman’s colleagues worked to keep her calm and and secure the lions, according to the South Coast Register.
Inspector Faye Stockmen, duty operations manager with NSW Ambulance, 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.”
NSW Police were also on the scene.
It's not the first animal attack at the zoo.
In 2014, a crocodile dragged a male handler into the water during a school holiday feeding show. The man suffered a minor hand injury.
Shoalhaven Zoo has been contacted for comment.
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