These are the fist snaps of a near-threatened white rhino at an Austrian zoo that killed a female zookeeper while critically injuring her husband who tried to help her this morning (Tuesday).
The 33-year-old German female employee was crushed to death after the 1.8-tonne female rhino named ‘Yeti’ attacked her for ‘reasons still unknown’ at the Hellbrunn zoo in the city of Salzburg, Austria.
A second zookeeper, allegedly the 33-year-old woman’s husband, was severely injured and is currently undergoing surgery after he tried to help her at around 6.55am on Tuesday, 12th September.
Media said the pair had started their morning care responsibilities at the zoo when they began rubbing insect repellent on the animals in the enclosure.
But the 30-year-old rhino then attacked the 33-year-old woman causing fatal injuries to her chest area. Resuscitation attempts were reportedly unsuccessful, claimed the zoo.
Salzburg Zoo managing director Sabine Grebner said: “She was very careful and considerate with the animals, and she had an extremely good feel for them.”
Police said: “The animal keeper, a German, was killed by a rhinoceros. The woman succumbed to her injuries at the scene of the accident.
“Another zookeeper rushed to his colleague’s aid and tried to scare the rhino away, but was attacked by the animal and seriously injured himself.”
The 34-year-old man reportedly suffered a broken femur after the animal turned towards him while he tried to scare it away upon seeing the attack.
He was flown by helicopter to the Salzburg University Hospital and is currently undergoing thigh surgery. His life is reportedly out of danger.
Zoo officials claimed that both employees were experienced and trained animal keepers who had worked at the zoo for years.
Meanwhile, the zoo will remain closed to visitors throughout the whole day, zoo authorities said and added: “We express our deep sympathy for the relatives.”
Police are currently checking surveillance cameras in order to investigate what triggered the attack.
Grebner did not reveal what will happen with the Rhino but said they are evaluating all safety regulations.
The palace where the zoo is located in the gardens is also home the famous gazebo from the 1960s film The Sound Of Music, and was used for both Maria and Georg’s romantic love scene and the duet “Sixteen Going On Seventeen”.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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