A rhino at Salzburg Zoo, on the outskirts of the Austrian city, fatally crushed a “dedicated” zookeeper and inflicted serious injuries on a colleague who tried to rescue her.
The incident occurred during the morning rounds, a routine in which the animals are fed and provided with essential care, including the application of insect repellent.
Zoo officials “were shocked,” struggling to understand the tragic incident. Sabine Grebner, director of the Hellbrunn Zoo in Salzburg, he expressed to the crazy station Oe24 that the exact details of how the incident occurred are still unclear.
“The zookeeper who lost her life showed exceptional dedication and a deep knowledge of the animals she cared for,” said Director Grebner.
The woman, a 33-year-old German from Bavaria who was not named, had been tasked with applying insect repellent to the rhinos. This responsibility was crucial, given the animals’ sensitivity to insect bites.
Tragically, Their efforts to protect the rhinos resulted in a fatal encounter. The woman suffered chest injuries during the incident and, devastatingly, succumbed to them at the scene. Her colleague, who is also her husband, suffered a broken femur while trying to rescue her from her. He was immediately taken to a hospital to receive medical attention.
The rhinoceros called Yeti
The rhino involved in the incident was identified as Yeti, a female southern white rhinoceros. Grebner, director of Salzburg’s Hellbrunn Zoo, said Yeti and the zoo’s other rhinos are long-term residents and have established cooperative relationships with her caretakers.
Yeti was born in South Africa in 1999 and has lived in Salzburg since November 2009, according to information from the Rhino Resource Centre.
The devastating tragedy has left the zoo community in mourning. The Salzburg Zoo, which is home to a wide variety of 150 species and approximately 1,500 animals, remained closed on Tuesday as a mark of respect and in the wake of this heartbreaking incident.
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