Two lions attacked a woman worker at an Australian zoo on Friday as she was cleaning their enclosure, inflicting critical wounds on her head and neck, officials said.
Paramedics treated the 35-year-old at the Shoalhaven Zoo, in New South Wales (NSW) state, which has been closed since March 25 because of shutdowns to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
She was then airlifted to hospital in a critical but stable condition, police said in a statement.
NSW Ambulance duty operations manager inspector Faye Stockmen said she had to walk into the lions' den to reach the zookeeper in an "incredibly dangerous situation, both for the patient and the paramedics."
"I have never come across a job like this in my career," she said in a statement. "It was absolutely harrowing."
A couple takes pictures of a lion on the reopening day of Rome's Zoo on Friday. AP
Police declared a crime scene at the zoo. Shoalhaven Zoo declined to comment.
Attacks by wild animals at zoos are relatively common. Last year, a Sumatran tiger attacked a worker at a zoo in Kansas, in the United States, and in a separate incident, a Jaguar attacked a woman taking a selfie at a zoo in the US state of Arizona.