However, the rhino house itself, where the incident occurred, remains closed until further notice, as announced. Director Sabine Grebner was touched on Friday by the great sympathy expressed towards the zoo and its employees. On Tuesday morning, a 33-year-old animal keeper was attacked and fatally injured while applying cream to the 1.8-ton rhino cow “Jeti” with an insect stick. The 34-year-old husband, who is an animal keeper himself, wanted to help his wife and was also seriously injured. It is not known exactly how the accident happened. The zoo then remained closed until Thursday. “We need our time,” said Grebner. The staff has been accompanied by the crisis intervention team since the accident. The director had already appealed to visitors on Wednesday to respect the privacy of the zoo employees and not to talk to them about the tragic incident. Everyone now has the right to mourn and process what they have experienced.
At the moment, the zoo is experiencing a lot of sympathy, Grebner told ORF on Friday: “The nice thing is that so many people are thinking of us. The zoo world anyway, we have received messages from a lot of keepers from other zoos, including from Visitors and locals. So many people think of us – they write to us, send us messages. And it’s nice to see that we’re not alone.” A place of remembrance will be set up in the zoo for the deceased zookeeper.
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