Wolves bite worker at same NC conservatory where lion killed intern

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Two juvenile wolves bit a worker over the weekend at the same North Carolina wildlife conservatory where an intern was killed by a lion in 2018.

WGHP reported that at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, the young wolves bit a female worker on both arms, specifically in the elbow and forearm areas, and the right thigh, at the Conservator’s Center in Burlington.

The worker was taken to a hospital but her condition remains unknown.

The center released a statement on its Facebook page on Monday, saying the “professionally-trained fulltime animal keeper was performing routine activities with two of the center’s juvenile wolves” inside the wolves’ enclosure when the attack happened.

Center officials said the enclosure is separated from the public tour path by multiple fencing barriers and at no time was any member of the public in danger.

“The Center continues to have as its top priority the safety of its public guests, volunteers, and employees, and the Center is confident that it provides a safe environment for all who visit and work at the Center,” the statement read.

The wolves have been placed on a 10-day quarantine. Center officials said the same measure would be put in place “for any dog that bit a human.”

This is the same wildlife conservatory where an intern was attacked and killed by a lion in 2018.

Officials said a “husbandry team” including 22-year-old Alexandra Black was performing a routine cleaning when the lion somehow got loose and attacked her.

She had been working at the conservatory as an intern for about two weeks, her family said.

Deputies said the lion was shot and killed after attempts to tranquilize the animal failed.

The Humane Society of the United States released the following statement following Saturday’s incident:

According to Lisa Wathne, senior strategist of captive wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States,

“In 2018 the county report regarding a tragic death at this facility, graphically revealed how unprepared the Conservator Center was to respond to the incident. It sounds like the Center’s safety procedures have not improved. Keeping wild animals – especially predators - in captivity is inherently dangerous. The only way to minimize the risks is to ensure that the animals are held only at zoos and sanctuaries accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Accredited facilities abide by animal care and safety policies and standards that far exceed the very minimum regulations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. This accreditation is crucial for distinguishing legitimate, well-run facilities from roadside zoos or well-intentioned but substandard rescue operations that use deceptive names in order to appeal to donors.

North Carolina is one of only five states (Alabama, Oklahoma, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin) that have virtually no laws regulating the private possession of dangerous wild animals. State lawmakers need to enact legislation to keep dangerous wild animals out of the hands of people not qualified to care for them.”