The Greater Vancouver Zoo has confirmed that a child was bitten by a black bear on Monday, Aug. 5 and that an investigation is underway.
The GVZ said that it is deeply saddened by the incident and its, “primary concern is with the injured child and family at this time.” It also reports that it is working to gather information from all parties involved.
The GVZ states that it adheres to Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) safety standards to ensure safety to patrons and animals, and that, “Barriers are purposefully put in place to maintain a safe distance between patrons and our animals.” Further, it adds that the child who was bitten was in an “unauthorized area to the public” when the incident took place.
BC Emergency Health Services says it received a call just before 7 p.m. Monday and dispatched two critical care teams and an air ambulance. It also notes that the patient was transported by air ambulance to hospital in “serious condition.”
“A black bear, held in captivity, was responsible for the bite to the two-year-old girl’s arm,” said Murray Smith, B.C. Conservation Officer Service, in a statement.
Smith added that the COS and the RCMP have attended the zoo and an investigation is underway. In addition, he noted that the COS will not be euthanizing any animals as a result of the incident, but that, “The black bear enclosure is closed to the public until further notice.”
The Greater Vancouver Zoo added that it will also continue an its investigation, “to confirm all details and ensure the safety of all our guests, staff and animals.”
With files from the Canadian Press.