Zebra attacks handler at National Zoo

Nov. 19, 2013 at 1:42 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A zebra at the National Zoo in Washington attacked a handler and bit him at least 10 times, zoo officials said.

The animal, a 10-year-old Grevy's zebra named Gumu, attacked the zookeeper inside its habitat. The incident was likely to blame for the death of an endangered 1-year-old Dama gazelle in the habitat, as well. An initial necropsy found the animal had a fractured spine, KUSA-TV, Washington, reported Monday.

Zookeepers said the gazelle apparently was spooked when the zebra attacked the man and ran into a barrier in the habitat and suffered the spinal break.

Zoo officials said the handler was alert and conscious before paramedics transported him to an area hospital for treatment of the bite wounds. The zebra was removed from the habitat and is being kept in a holding area.

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