Hippo attacks and kills zookeeper who entered enclosure to clean it

A worker at a zoo in India was attacked and killed by a hippopotamus after entering the animal’s enclosure to clean it Monday.

The deadly animal attack took place at Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden, better known as Lucknow Zoo, in Uttar Pradesh, where a 40-year-old zoo staffer, identified only as Suraj, ventured into the hippo enclosure along with a colleague to perform a scheduled cleaning, reported Indian Express.

The hippopotamus was supposed to be locked in a cage during regular enclosure maintenance, but the hulking mammal somehow got out and charged at Suraj, killing him on the spot.

Suraj had worked at the zoo for about 12 years, and had been trained in cleaning facilities and feeding animals.

He is survived by his wife and two children, a son and daughter.

The other zookeeper, identified as Raju, was injured in the hippo attack but survived and was hospitalized in a stable condition.

Lucknow Zoo director Aditi Sharma said the hippopotamus was immediately locked up, and no other injuries were reported.

The incident happened on a day when the zoo was closed to visitors.

The hippo had been transferred to Lucknow from a zoo in Kanpur just a few weeks ago.

A zoo official speculated that the hippo enclosure may not have been properly secured during the cleaning.

Sharma promised a thorough investigation into the deadly incident, saying that “if there is any mistake, it will be rectified,” reported the Hindustan Times.

The sprawling Lucknow Zoo, which was founded in 1921, houses more than 1,000 animals from some 104 species, including lions, tigers, bears and hyenas.

This article by Snejana Farberov was first published by The New York Post on 18 December 2023. Lead Image: Hippopotamus. (Photo Credits: Pixabay).

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