Link to a small story of a zookeeper that has her arm bitten off by lion.
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That's not roughness that intensity
Courage? I would say the word you're looking for is instinct. Couple that with stress and unfamiliarity on a “dangerous” animal and you have an incident like this one.
I've been behind the scenes at a few zoos and amusement parks that keep various animals. There is a clear boundary between the cages and walking or staging area. Usually, there is a large (6 or more feet) walkway around the pen marked clearly with a line of tape or something similar to show the "safe" area. I’ve even been to exhibits where there is a double barred cage for the more dangerous animals. Given this is a Busch park, I assume that they have strict guidelines for both keeping the animals and visitors/tours.
On a tour, you’re given incredibly clear instructions on permissible behavior. If this zookeeper was taking a family on a tour through the lion's habitat, there is no way she could have gotten close enough for this to happen. What I'm saying is she probably deviated from protocol by feeding the animal or coaxing it to the edge of the cage for her family to see. Male lions are VERY territorial - they have to keep their all female prides in order. It is rather unfortunate, especially since the keeper was so young. My hope is surgeons can successfully reattach her arm.
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