Crocodile shot after biting zookeeper at Zurich Zoo

Only 250 of the Philippine crocodile species remain in the wild. Keystone / Federico Gambarini

The Zurich Zoo shot and killed a crocodile after it bit the hand of a zookeeper and wouldn’t let go. The animal caretaker had to be hospitalized and underwent surgery but is recovering well.

This content was published on December 26, 2019 - 11:27

On Monday evening, the zookeeper attempted to clean the animal enclosure and separated the male Philippine crocodile when it bit her hand and held on for several minutes. The Zoo Director Alex Rübel told the Keystone news agency that it is unclear why the crocodile attacked.

In his 30 years at the zoo, Rübel has never had to have an animal killed because of aggression.

The crocodile, which is relatively small at about 1.5 metres long and weighs around 15 kilograms, belonged to a rare species of Philippine crocodiles from the Mindanao Islands, of which only 250 of its kind remain in the wild.

A female of the same species, which still lives at the Zurich Zoo, did not get along well with the male, said Rübel. The Zoo did not indicate whether it will look for a new male.

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