A female zookeeper “lost a lot of blood” after she was attacked by a 16ft saltwater crocodile in northern Australia. The 34-year-old woman was rushed to hospital after the giant reptile, known as Leo, reportedly bit her on the arm in a surprise attack. It is believed the member of staff was trying to put a plant in the cage when the croc grabbed her, local publication NT News reported.
A source from Crocosaurus Cove, in Darwin, northern Australia, said the 34-year-old was “lucky she did not lose a limb”.
It was the first recorded instance of the crocodile Leo attacking a human, though it was not the first time one of the reptiles had injured a keeper at the park.
The female keeper, who could not be named due to “patient privacy” was rushed to hospital after the attack.
A tourist said he overheard staff discussing the attack and “apparently there was a lot of blood”
Crocosaurus Cove has launched an inquiry into the incident to determine whether Leo is now a threat to staff and visitors.
Previous attacks in the reptile park have largely been perpetrated by smaller crocodiles. Their bites are often less devastating.
Staff at the park said the last incident happened roughly two years ago and involved an underage staff member.
They said: “There was a pretty bad bite, probably a year to two years ago now, where an underage staff member actually got bitten by one of the smaller crocodiles.”
Crocosaurus Cove is a tourist attraction offering visitors a “unique, up-close and personal view of Australia’s iconic saltwater crocodiles”, according to its website.
Guests have the chance to swim with crocodiles, feed them and pose for a photo holding a baby croc.
The Northern Territory, in which the park is located, is home to the world’s largest wild crocodile population, with more than 100,000 of the predators spread across the region.
Earlier this year a swimmer was mauled by a crocodile in a wild attack which left his dog dead.
Distressing footage showed tourist Alister MacPhee, 37, repeatedly punching the beast in a bid to escape after it lunged from the water in Queensland, Australia.
This article by Tom Watling was first published by The Express on 13 May 2023. Lead Image: The female zookeeper was rushed to hospital following the attack (Image: FACEBOOK/CROCOSAURUS COVE DARWIN).
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