Two lions mauled an Australian zookeeper on Friday and first-responders airlifted the woman to a Sydney hospital in a critical, but stable condition, authorities said.
The attack happened at Shoalhaven Zoo and involved a 35-year-old female employee who suffered multiple injuries to her face and neck when the lions viciously mauled her while she was cleaning their cage.
“Upon arrival police found a 35-year-old female employee suffering wounds to the neck and the head within a lion enclosure,” police superintendent Greg Moore said.
First-responders said the woman was found unconscious in the enclosure. The injuries to her face and neck were severe and included bites and lacerations, BBC reported.
“The attack was extremely vicious,” New South Wales Medical Inspector and first-responder Faye Stockman said.
Moore said the victims’ coworkers did a really good job and responded quickly. They were able to secure the lions and render assistance to the woman.
“Initially, I gotta say, since I was first on scene, it was a little bit daunting in the sense of being there and seeing then there were two lions nearby but they were secured,” Stockman said.
Shoalhaven Zoo was not opened at the time of the attack and remains closed since March 25 due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
The zoo is located about 90 miles south of the Australian capital.
This is not the first animal attack at the zoo. In 2014, a handler was dragged into the water by a crocodile, but escaped with minor injuries.
Reuters contributed to this report.