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KEEPER INJURED. DRAMA IN ZOO PIT. LEG BADLY LACERATED. BROTHER GIVES AID. Attacked by a 10-year-old black bear at the Auckland Zoo this morning, a keeper suffered severe lacerations to the left leg. The injured man, Mr. W. Hawke, of 19, Tennyson Street, Grey Lynn, was carrying out the usual daily cleaning of the black bear pit when the animal attacked him without warning, gripping him behind the knee with its teeth. The bear is a member of the species common in America. It was born at the zoo 10 years ago and at no time since then had it ever shown signs of viciousness. It was held in such trust, in fact, that it was allowed to roam loose in the pit while the cleaning was carried out. On the other hand, the second occupant of the pit, a bear newly arrived from California, was not sufficiently well known to the keepers to be trusted in such a way. and it was locked up each time they entered the pit. - With no cause to suspect that the zoo-born bear was anything but its usual docile self, Mr. Hawke entered the pit thin morning in company with his brother, Mr. Alan Hawke, who is also a keeper. Apparently the animal had tho traditional bear's "sore head" and was "out of sorts,'' for the time being, for it turned suddenly on the keeper and its sharp fangs tore into the tlcsh of his leg. It was an extremely painful surprise for Mr. Hawke. His brother came quickly to his assistance and drove the bear away. Then he helped the injured man to climb out of the pit. By the time he reached the top of the ladder. Mr. Hawke was faint from loss of blood. Rare Occurrence. Medical attention was immediately given while the arrival of a St. John ambulance was awaited. Mr. Hawke was taken to the Auckland Hospital, where his condition this afternoon was satisfactory. Accidents of this kind in zoological gardens are extremely rare. It is believed, indeed, that never before has a keeper .at the Auckland Zoo been attacked in such a way by any animal. In Yellowstone Park. United States, the black bear roams wild in forest preservations and is a constant attraction to thc tourist.

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Bibliographic details

BEAR TURNS, Auckland Star, Volume LXIX, Issue 27, 2 February 1938

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BEAR TURNS Auckland Star, Volume LXIX, Issue 27, 2 February 1938