The management of Jamaica Zoo has been “doing everything” to assist the man, an attendant, whose finger was bitten by a lion at the Lacovia, St Elizabeth attraction. The incident was captured in a video that went viral on the weekend.
In a statement on Sunday, the management said it is reviewing the video “with a view of preventing any future recurrences”.
The injured attendant, identified by Jamaica Zoo as a “contractor”, is seen struggling to get the lion to release his finger after putting it inside the animal’s cage. He eventually did and collapsed, much to the shock of the visitors who seemingly thought it might have been part of the showing.
In its statement Sunday, Jamaica Zoo reassured the public that its management and staff pride themselves on the love, care and professional treatment of the animals at the facility.
“The actions displayed in a video by a contractor to Jamaica Zoo are tragic and do not represent the safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to at all times at Jamaica Zoo,” the statement said.
Pointing out that it was an unfortunate event that should never have happened, Jamaica Zoo, which came about in 2004, said it is doing everything to assist the injured man in moving forward.
“We do hope you continue to support Jamaica Zoo. We have always been and will continue to be a safe place for you and your family to visit,” the statement ended.
Before Jamaica Zoo issued its statement on Sunday, Hope Zoo, located in Kingston, made its own public pronouncement on the “awful” viral video, stating that the incident did not occur at its facility.
“We definitely do not condone the abuse of animals for the entertainment of guests. All of our #zooanimals are like dear family to us, and we constantly strive to keep them as relaxed & happy as possible. We would never stress out our animals for the amusement of people,” Hope Zoo said in an Instagram video post on Sunday.
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The Hope Zoo video shows its “precious” lions Lucas and Jasmine.