Tragic Rhino Attack Claims Woman’s Life at Austrian Zoo
A Rhinoceros Rampage Shakes Hellbrunn Zoo
A horrifying incident unfolded at Hellbrunn Zoo in Salzburg, Austria when a rhinoceros attacked a married couple who were dedicated zookeepers. Tragically, the woman lost her life in the attack, while the man sustained serious injuries while trying to rescue her.
A Terrifying Encounter
The fateful attack took place at the Hellbrunn Zoo, a popular destination in western Austria, known for its rich diversity of animals. Zoo director Sabine Grebner shared details of the incident, revealing that the victim was a 33-year-old German citizen from Bavaria. Her assigned task that day was to apply insect repellent to the rhino’s body, a routine procedure to protect sensitive creatures from insect bites.
The 30-year-old female rhino, named Jeti, suddenly turned aggressive, launching the attack without a clear provocation. Sabine Grebner expressed bewilderment over the unexpected behavior of the rhino.
A Tragic Outcome
The outcome of the assault was devastating. The woman succumbed to her injuries at the scene despite desperate attempts to resuscitate her. Her husband, a 34-year-old Austrian zookeeper who was tending to other animals at the time, rushed to intervene and protect his wife. In the process, he suffered a fractured leg, and both of them faced the terrifying fury of the charging rhino.
The names of the heroic zookeepers have been withheld in compliance with Austrian privacy regulations. The man, a seasoned animal keeper, had been working at the zoo since 2008, while his wife, a certified animal keeper, joined the zoo in 2014 after previously working in Munich.
A Mystery Unraveled
Sabine Grebner, the zoo director, acknowledged the deceased keeper’s exceptional care and consideration for the animals. She emphasized the need to unravel the exact circumstances leading to the attack, suggesting that there may have been an underlying irritation or trigger.
Expressing deep sadness and shock over the incident, Grebner pledged a comprehensive review of all safety protocols at the zoo. She noted that no prior incidents had occurred in the rhino enclosure, which has been in operation for nearly three decades.
Jeti, the rhino involved in the attack, has been a part of the zoo since 2009, known for her cooperative nature and history of giving birth to a cub in 2015. Salzburg Zoo houses four rhinos, comprising three females and one bull.
Salzburg police have initiated an investigation into the tragic incident, aiming to shed light on the circumstances that led to this rare and unfortunate attack.
As a precautionary measure, the zoo announced its closure for both Tuesday and Wednesday, allowing time for authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure the safety of visitors and staff.
This heart-wrenching event serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of wild animals, even in the care of dedicated professionals.
Source: NBC News