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Hyena Bites Worker At Southern Indiana Petting Zoo

Wildlife in Need

The entrance to Wildlife in Need (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU)

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says a conservation officer responded to Wildlife in Need Friday after a worker was bitten by a hyena. According to a statement from the facility, the worker is "on the mend."

"A trusted caretaker was bitten while tending to one of our Ambassadors during rounds. Immediate medical attention was sought and rendered promptly as per our property protocol," the statement reads. "We, as animal caretakers, are aware of the risks when we interact. We have contingency plans. We hope it never happens, but are prepared. This is why we interact- had our animal not been familiar with the handler and with human interaction- the response could have been more extreme."

A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is looking into the incident. Wildlife in Need has a permit to operate from the USDA.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is suing Wildlife in Need over a 2017 inspection report. The report cited Wildlife in Need for botching a declawing proceedure on two Tiger Cubs.

PETA also filed a complaint with the USDA after a video surfaced showing Wildlife in Need owner Tim Stark handling a bear cub.

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