Employee was injured by jaguar at Metro Vancouver Zoo last month, according to WorkSafeBC, who said the incident had the potential for “serious injury”.
An inspection report obtained by CBC News, dated December 13, 2021, indicates that the worker was feeding the jaguar when it climbed a metal feed chute.
The jaguar “grabbed” the worker’s hand in his mouth, according to the report.
Another worker used the end of a broomstick to hammer on the door of the jaguar pen. The injured worker was then able to free his hand.
No information was provided on the severity of the injury.
WorkSafeBC said the zoo has since “soldered[ed] at the bottom of the feed chute to mitigate the risk of a similar incident. “
The zoo is required to fully investigate the incident and report to WorkSafeBC by Monday.
The zoo did not respond to CBC’s request for comment.
According to the zoo’s website, two black jaguars, two-year-old brothers Jasper and Loki, live at the zoo.
The zoo’s website and social media posts describe jaguars as the largest cats in the Americas – with the strongest biting force of any big cat, relative to their size – who can easily pierce the skin and thick bones.
“These types of injuries are always a risk when working with captive wildlife… and are often not common knowledge,” Sara Dubois, adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, told CBC News. in applied biology.
Dubois has investigated incidents involving alien and captive species.
“Guarding against carnivores or large predators like jaguars, tigers and lions, these animals still pose a significant risk to handlers as well as to the public,” Dubois said.
Feeding the jaguar in a feeding chute “doesn’t allow a predator to express its natural hunting behavior,” said Emily Pickett, campaign manager at the Vancouver Humane Society.
“The jaguar climbing the chute is a natural behavior for a big cat, because it manifests the desire to hunt for its food. ”
This was not the first animal attack at the Aldergrove Zoo in British Columbia.
In August 2019, a child visiting the zoo was bitten by a black bear and airlifted to hospital in serious condition.
Authorities said the girl crossed a security fence and put her arm through a chain-link fence.
The zoo has also faced years of criticism from advocates for conditions at the facility.
In a 2019 report, the Humane Society recommended that he move away from breeding wild and exotic animals.
In April 2020, the zoo’s chief executive told CBC News he was planning a multi-million dollar park overhaul over the next few years to move away from small enclosures, converting half of its space into a “park. safari style for animals around the world. ”
The zoo said it was looking after “rescued, donated and orphaned animals,” including a Siberian tiger, reindeer, camels, black bears and grizzly bears.