'A miracle': Zookeeper lucky to be alive after lion attack near Hanover

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'A miracle': Zookeeper lucky to be alive after lion attack near Hanover
Lions at the Serengeti Park. Photo: DPA

A young zookeeper is expected to make a full recovery after being mauled by two lions at the Serengeti Zoo, near Hanover, over the weekend. Reports indicate the man entered the enclosure at feeding time.


The lions had been released from their cages to feed on meat which had been left for them in the centre of a large enclosure. 

The boss of the zoo told reporters “it’s a miracle that our young colleague is still alive”. 

His colleagues told DPA they were unsure why the 24-year-old man entered the enclosure, although they speculated it could have been to perform a routine fence check. 

The enclosure where the attack took place. Image: DPA

Once they noticed the man, the two male lions pounced, attacking him on his arm, leg and chest. Zookeepers were able to fight off the lions in order to save the man. He was later flown in an emergency helicopter to a nearby hospital. 

DPA reports the man is in a stable condition after undergoing a five-hour operation.  

A spokesperson for the zoo later told AFP that the man forgot the ‘golden rule’ of checking to see if the lions were in their cages before entering the enclosure. 

Read: False alarm after five big cats break out of zoo

The park, based in Hodengahen in Lower Saxony, has more than 1,500 animals spread across 296 acres of land. 

The lions of the park have previously made news, after a lioness attacked a safari bus full of visitors. A family suffered light injuries in the attack. 

The man is expected to make a full recovery.

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