Zoo cuts off contact with wolves after fatal attack
Published: 18 Jun 12 08:48 CET
Authorities at the Kolmården zoo have put a stop to any close contact with their park's wolves after a female zookeeper was mauled and killed by a pack of wolves on Sunday.
In the wake of Sunday's attack, which left a 30-year-old woman lying dead in an enclosure which houses eight wolves, has prompted the popular animal park to take drastic measures as it reviews wolf handling procedures.
The first step, according to the head of the zoo, Jan Roy, is to eliminate all close contact with the wolves – for both staff and visitors.
“We’ve noticed that we can no longer continue doing this, the risks are obviously too big to work in this manner, it’s going to be stopped,” Roy told Sveriges Radio (SR).
The zoo has still not decided whether the wolves will be put down.
The woman's death, which staff members believe occured extremely quickly, was reported to emergency services shortly after 11am.
Paramedics were unable to reach the woman's body for a time as she was still surrounded by the wolves, wrote daily Aftonbladet.
The deceased woman had worked with the zoo as a guide and lecturer for over three years, in which time she became extremely close with the wolves.
At the time of the attack, the 30-year-old was by herself with the pack of wolves, engaging in what the zoo refers to as a “social activities” – in which staff members build trust and rapport with the animals.
“She has been taking care of some of the wolves since they were little,” one colleague told the paper.
The zoological expert of Kolmården, Mats Höggren, has spoken out about the 30-year-old’s life and death.
“She was really competent and trustworthy, with excellent contact with the wolves up until this happened – which truly adds to our surprise and dismay. We saw no previous evidence or behavior in the wolves that would indicate such an incident could occur,” Höggren told the paper.
Kolmården zoo, which is near Norrköping in central Sweden, has opened again on Monday to resume normal business, according to TT.
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