What we know about the attack on a 37-year-old woman by wolves at the Thoiry zoo – Libération

What we know about the attack on a 37-year-old woman by wolves at the Thoiry zoo – Libération
What we know about the attack on a 37-year-old woman by wolves at the Thoiry zoo – Libération

A thirty-year-old woman was seriously injured this Sunday, June 23 after being bitten by wolves at the Thoiry zoo (Yvelines) in a reserve closed to pedestrians. An “accident” whose “circumstances” are the subject of investigations by the zoo and the courts.

She was attacked while jogging. This Sunday morning, a 37-year-old customer at the Thoiry zoological park (Yvelines) was seriously injured after being bitten by three wolves. She was then injured “on the neck, calf and back”, reports a source close to the matter. First transported as an absolute emergency to the hospital, the victim was released this Sunday evening. His vital prognosis is no longer in jeopardy. Release takes stock of this tragedy, the circumstances of which remain unclear.

How did the attack take place?

According to the first elements of the investigation, it was around 9 a.m. this Sunday, June 23 when the victim, who had spent the night with family in hotel accommodation in the park located in Yvelines – in the presence of her mother and her baby – , went for a jog. This thirty-year-old, “who resided in the lounge (within the grounds of the park, editor’s note), crossed the grounds of the American reserve on foot”, a stockpile “which is only accessible by car”reported the CEO of Wow Safari Thoiry, Christelle Vercheny (since 2018 the zoo has belonged to a group of investors.) The victim was then suddenly attacked by three gray wolves.

The mother was thus injured “neck, calf and back” according to a source close to the matter. According to the Parisian, the keepers had to intervene to free her from the canines, information confirmed by the prosecution. In the moment, “the caregivers were able to intervene very quickly to rescue her and provide first aid,” also assured the park director.

Earlier in the day, the public prosecutor of Versailles, Maryvonne Caillibotte, announced that the victim’s vital prognosis was in jeopardy, even though she had been transported to hospital. But this Sunday at the end of the day, the victim was no longer in a state of absolute emergency, declares a source close to the case.

How was the victim able to access this area?

As explained by our colleagues from Parisianin this “safari space”, only motorists are allowed to travel. Pedestrians are prohibited there. In this space, “vehicles can enter and exit and there are electrified plates which limit animal exit access”but these plates “do not intervene on human beings”, also explains the park director. She adds that signs located outside this area, whose dangerousness is mentioned, remind us “the rules of survival”.

“We are in the process of analyzing all the circumstances which could have led to this accident,” she concluded, specifying that an internal investigation had been opened and that she was at this stage not in possession “of no element” concerning a possible technical or human failure. “I am not able to say if it was she who made a mistake or if the marking was not well done,” explains the prosecutor for her part. By mid-afternoon, it had not “no clear understanding yet of how she ended up in these places.”

“This is a first in Thoiry, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our employees and our visitors,” finally assures the president of the Wow Safari Thoiry group.

What will happen to the wolves?

The three gray wolves that attacked the victim were temporarily isolated to allow the woman to be rescued before returning to their place in the reserve, which was “completely closed” during the intervention, continued Christelle Bercheny. “The behavior of animals in reserves is the behavior of animals in freedom or semi-freedom”, further clarified the director of the zoo group to explain the animals’ reaction to human intrusion.

An investigation was opened into unintentional injuries and was entrusted to the Mantes-la-Jolie Research Brigade.

Update : at 9:20 p.m., with new information on the accident

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