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Zookeeper trampled to death by rhino in Austrian city Salzburg

The entrance to the Zoo Hellbrunn in Salzburg, Austria.
The entrance to the Zoo Hellbrunn in Salzburg, Austria. Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Euronews with AFP/AP
Published on Updated
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Another member of staff was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

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A zookeeper in the Austrian city of Salzburg was attacked by a rhinoceros on Tuesday and succumbed to her injuries on the scene, the country's police announced. 

One of her colleagues was also seriously injured in the tragedy. 

The accident occurred "in the early hours of the morning during routine work in the rhino enclosure", according to a statement.

Officers explained that during a normal procedure in the rhino enclosure of Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn, a 33-year-old keeper was attacked by the animal “for reasons that are still unknown.”

According to the APA news agency, the victim was probably trampled to death.

“The woman succumbed to her injuries at the scene of the accident,” police said.

The rhino involved is said to be an individual named Yeti, with no previous history of dangerous behaviour towards staff.

While trying to scare the animal away, another keeper, a 34-year-old man, was also attacked by the same rhino and seriously injured. He was taken to a hospital in northern Austria.

The zoo will keep its doors closed on Tuesday.

Housing 1,500 animals on a 14,000-hectare site in the gardens of Hellbrunn Palace, it welcomes around 400,000 visitors a year.

Earlier this year, police in Berlin briefly mounted a search for a lioness reported to be on the loose on the fringe of the German capital. 

The operation was called off after experts concluded the animal was probably a wild boar.

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