A Madrid zookeeper is fighting for her life after a gorilla she raised from birth broke through three safety doors and attacked her.
The 46-year-old zookeeper was attacked by Malabo, a 200kg gorilla, at the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium in Spain on Sunday morning (local time) during routine cleaning and feeding preparation.
According to a statement from the zoo, the keeper with 19 years of experience entered the indoor facility and came face to face with the 29-year-old male gorilla who had somehow accessed the driving area leading into the habitat.
The zoo team managed to remove the ape and a veterinary team anaesthetised Malabo with a tranquilliser dart. They reiterated the public was not in any danger.
The keeper was transferred to Madrid Clinical Hospital with a head injuries, chest trauma, multiple fractures and two broken arms, she remains in a critical condition.
Emergency services said Madrid Police are now investigating the incident as it’s unclear how the gorilla was able to access the secure area where the attack took place.
Malabo is described as having “protective behaviour toward the group and is close to his caregivers”.
The zoo said the gorilla facilities will remain closed so Malabo and his group can remain calm.
"Given the event that occurred this morning with a gorilla keeper from the Madrid Zoo, we share our official note and our wishes for a speedy recovery for this worker,” the zoo said in a statement.
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