A trip to the zoo turned disastrous when a 2-year old girl needed to be hospitalized after being bitten by a black bear at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
Richard Hanson told CTV News that his wife and their daughter Sophia were visiting the zoo last Monday while he was away in Victoria. "They were all watching the bears and the next thing you know, you hear the kids screaming and they ran over and had to, know you, get it to stop biting her," he said of the incident. His wife frantically called him after it happened to let him know they were on route to B.C. Children’s Hospital.
View this post on Instagram
Finally made it to algonquin for a day!!!! I was only able to find one bear tho! Unfortunately it looks like this guy has already been causing a problem at the campground. #algonquinprovincialpark #algonquin #wildlifeonearth #wildlifelovers #wildlifeIG #wildlife_seekers #naturesbestphotomagazine #bbcearth #ourplanetdaily #planetearth #imagesofcanada #travelontario #blackbear #bear #algonquinpark #inthewild #respectwildlife #followmeto #goexplore
While the toddler needed to be hospitalized after the scary incident, luckily her injuries weren’t life threatening. However, Sophia did sustain a broken arm and also lost a fingertip as a result of the encounter. "I talked to the hospital and they said she's in stable condition. They said she has extensive injuries to her arm," her father revealed, adding that she will likely need multiple surgeries to correct the damage.
It remains unclear exactly how the bear came to bite the little girl. However, Hansen informed the media outlet that he and his wife are planning on taking legal action against the zoo, implying it was there fault for the unfortunate incident.
The zoo’s animal care manager, Menita Prasad, released a statement to the media in which she explained the little girl had been in a restricted area that’s not open to the public. How she came to be in the unauthorized area is still unclear.
“The zoo team is deeply shocked and saddened by the events that have happened. We do have safety protocols and procedures in place to prevent such incidents from happening,” Prasad explained. She added the zoo does have security cameras around their animal enclosures and will likely review the footage to determine exactly what happened.
CTV noted that three black bears live in the enclosure, which is protected by a tall chain-link fence. It also has a smaller fence in front of it to prevent zoo guests from going too close. The incident remains under investigation.
“We are completing an investigation and as well as working closely with the conservation officer service and local authorities to ensure that we are as safe as we possibly can, and if there are areas for improvement, then yes, we will make the necessary changes,” Prasad added.
She also added, “We recognize that there is always room for improvement. If there are areas for improvement, then yes, we will make the necessary changes.” It has also been confirmed that the black bear will not be euthanized following the incident.