Whipsnade Zoo 'rhino incident': Man found seriously injured following apparent rhino attack at Bedfordshire zoo

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo confirmed one of its keepers was hurt in the incident

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The Independent Online

A man has been seriously injured in an apparent rhino attack at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire.

The victim, a zookeeper in his 50s, was found by colleagues lying “immersed” in a pool of water and having suffered injuries to his chest, abdomen and pelvis.

The incident happened at around 8.15am this morning, and an air ambulance crew responded shortly afterwards to provide emergency care at the scene.

The keeper was later taken by land ambulance to hospital, where he was described as being in a “serious but stable” condition.

A spokesperson for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo confirmed that “one of our keepers was injured”.

She said the incident took place in the Asian rhino enclosure, where five one-horned rhinos are kept. The £1 million Rhinos of Nepal exhibit is featured on the zoo's website, where the one-horned rhinos are described as “armour-plated giants”.

“We are currently investigating what has happened,” the spokesperson said. “Family and staff are with the injured man at hospital, where he is being well looked after.”

A Magpas air ambulance spokeswoman said the man had been “immersed in water” during the incident and was given enhanced pain relief at the scene.

She said: “He was helped out of the water by staff at the zoo.

“The Magpas team assessed the patient, who suffered serious injuries, and put measures into place to keep him warm as his body temperature had dropped considerably.”