Zookeeper killed by lion at Children's Grand Park in Seoul

Zookeeper killed by lion at Children's Grand Park in Seoul
A bloodstain is seen on the window of a lion enclosure at the Children's Grand Park Zoo in central Seoul.

A zookeeper was mauled to death by a lion on Thursday at Children's Grand Park in Neung-dong, Seoul.

The victim, only identified by his surname Kim, was reportedly attacked by the lion after entering its area to hand it a toy.

The lion enclosure contained a 10-year-old male as well as a 6-year-old female.

It is not clear whether Kim was attacked by both of the animals or just one. He was alone with the lions when the attacks occurred.

The 53-year-old was discovered by a colleague on Thursday afternoon, unconscious and bleeding. He died shortly after being sent to a nearby hospital.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Kim has been working at the zoo for about 20 years, but had only been working with dangerous animals for the past three years.

Authorities shut down the enclosure and put a lion in quarantine.

The zoo at Children's Grand Park has been temporarily closed since Sunday since a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza was confirmed in the feces of birds at a nearby stream.

First established in 1973, Children's Grand Park ― which includes hiking trails, a zoo and an amusement park ― has been open to the public for free since 2006. Its zoo owns some 4,100 animals of 95 species, including elephants and chimpanzees.

According to the park complex, this was the first time one of its zookeepers was attacked by zoo animals.

In 2013, a zookeeper surnamed Shim was attacked by a tiger at Seoul Grand Park Zoo in the city of Gwacheon and died in spite of 15 days of medical treatment.

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