Zoo Attack

Lion bites handler at Dallas Zoo's Giants of the Savanna exhibit

Lion bites handler at Dallas Zoo's Giants of the Savanna exhibit

Giants of Savannah, Dallas Zoo
A lion bit a Dallas Zoo employee in the Giants of the Savannah exhibit but out of the public eye. Photo courtesy of Sedalco

An employee at the Dallas Zoo was bitten by a lion on August 23 during what zoo officials say was a "routine transfer" of lions from one area to another. Unlike the grisly lion killing in November 2013, this attack took place out of the public eye.

Dallas Zoo president and CEO Gregg Hudson called it "an unfortunate incident" and blamed human error. "Unfortunately, when you have humans involved in things like this, human error happens ... and that's what happened in this case," Hudson told WFAA.

In this case, the human error involved a handler who did not close a door inside the Giants of the Savanna exhibit, placing another handler in the same area as the lions. A female lion bit the handler, who pepper-sprayed the lion and escaped. He suffered scratches and a puncture wound on his back and went to the hospital.

At the time of the attack, zoo visitors were quickly ushered out of the exhibit. The lion was sedated but will not be euthanized, and the lion exhibit will stay open without interruption.