Woman Bitten By Rhino At Zoo

Denver Zoo Photo

A woman was taken to the hospital after she was bitten by a rhino at the Denver Zoo Wednesday.

The zoo says the incident happened during the feeding portion of an animal encounter program this afternoon. The woman was bitten on the finger by Mshindi, a black rhinoceros, and taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Visitors to the zoo can pay to feed the rhinos. It's a new feature at the Denver Zoo, but similar programs have reportedly been conducted at other zoos for years.

The zoo says the feeding program has been suspended while it investigates the incident and reviews safety protocols.

In a news release the vice president for animal care, Brian Aucone, said, “This is a terrible accident. We feel horrible for the woman involved... Mshindi is a gentle animal. We believe this was an accident and that he was not trying to hurt anyone."

The zoo says it will submit a report of the incident to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.