Fate of lions who mauled zookeeper
Two lions who savaged a big cat expert at a zoo on the New South Wales south coast won't be euthanised, the zoo's owner has announced.
Jennifer Brown was "set upon" by the pair while tending to cleaning duties inside their enclosure at Shoalhaven Zoo in North Nowra last Friday, NSW Police Superintendent Greg Moore said at the time.
The 35-year-old was mauled on the head and neck, and had "a number of lacerations and bites", with paramedics and a specialist medical team having to "walk into a lion's den" to save her.
Ms Brown, who had worked extensively with the 18-month-old lions in the past, underwent an emergency blood transfusion but is now making steady progress, Shoalhaven Zoo owner Nicholas Schilko said today.
"We're staying in constant touch with our keeper Jen Brown and her family, and are enormously relieved to report that she is recovering from lacerations that she received when visiting the lions' den," Mr Schilko said.
Mr Schilko said the animals showed no further signs of aggression following the attack, when colleagues rushed to Ms Brown's aid.
Both the zoo and SafeWork NSW have launched investigations into the attack to determine whether workplace safety procedures need to be reviewed.
"The zoo is fully assisting the SafeWork investigation to understand all the facts," Mr Schilko said.
"We have a small and close-knit team at Shoalhaven Zoo and right now our priority is their safety and wellbeing.
"We'd like to thank our staff, the responding agencies including paramedics and the wider zoo family who have rendered amazing support to the zoo at this time."
Supt Moore said he understands it "would not be normal practice" for someone to enter the enclosure while the lions were outside a particular area.
Inspector Faye Stockman, who was first at the scene described the rescue as "absolutely harrowing" and the situation as "incredibly dangerous - both for the patient and the paramedics".
"This is one of the worst jobs I have ever experienced - I have never come across a job like this in my career," Inspector Stockman said.
"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."
Originally published as Fate of lions who mauled zookeeper