The zoo can be a wonderful place to take the family on an afternoon retreat, but that’s not always the case. Unfortunately, when you cage a wild animal, bad things can, and often do, happen. In time, almost every single zoo is open to an attack or an accident. These are just twenty of the hundreds of cases where a zoo attack has made the papers and shocked the entire world. Be wary when you’re leaning over the fence at the tiger pen to snap a picture. Your footing might give way.
Binky The Polar Bear
In 1994, Australian tourist Kathryn Warburton found herself in a horrible situation after she scaled not one, but two safety fences to get a better photo of Binky, a 1,200 pound polar bear. The bear stuck his head through the bars, grabbing Warburton’s leg. She suffered a broken leg and multiple lacerations.
Melody The Tapir
In November of 1998, zookeeper Lisa Morehead was feeding a Malayan tapir named Melody, who happened to be the brand new mother of a baby. Melody ended up biting the arm of Morehead, causing facial lacerations and internal injuries, including a punctured lung. The arm was torn off mid-bicep and could not be reattached.
Wolf Center, 1996
In 1996, 24-year-old Patricia Wyman, a wildlife biologist, was hired by the Wolf Center to conduct education programs with the public. Wyman had entered the wolf enclosure twice prior to her attack. Patricia is said to have triggered their predatory instincts in some way. She was discovered nude and covered in many bite marks, with flesh from her arms and legs torn from her body. The wolves were put down.
Unfortunately, Gu Gu the Giant Panda was the cause of multiple attacks. One in 2006, one in 2007, and one in 2009. In each attack, Gu Gu went for the legs of his victim’s, tearing chunks of flesh from their body and maiming all, including a 15-year-old boy.