Rhinoceros gores woman at Mogo Zoo on the South Coast

A woman will be airlifted to hospital after being gored by a rhinoceros at Mogo Zoo. Picture: Graham Tidy
A woman will be airlifted to hospital after being gored by a rhinoceros at Mogo Zoo. Picture: Graham Tidy

A rhino gored a zookeeper at Mogo Zoo on Wednesday afternoon, in an incident the South Coast zoo has labelled "minor".

Paramedics were called about 1pm after reports a 47-year-old woman had been gored by a rhino in the arm, a NSW Ambulance spokesman said.

The zoo said the woman's arm was injured about 12.50pm during a routine daily procedure with southern white rhino Kei.

Kei was uninjured in the incident, which happened in a part of the zoo that is not open to the public.

The ambulance spokesman said the woman was taken to Moruya airport, from where she was flown to Canberra Hospital.

The keeper was treated for a penetrated wound in her left arm, which was also thought to be fractured.

She was understood to be in a stable condition, and was conscious and alert.

A Mogo Zoo spokesperson said the incident was minor, but that an investigation was underway.

“One of Mogo Zoo’s senior keepers was involved in a minor incident during a daily routine procedure with the southern white rhino Kei, in which her arm was injured,” they said.

“A first aider at the scene applied treatment and as a precaution an ambulance was called. Assistance was rendered and both keeper and rhino are okay.”

“Mogo Zoo will be reviewing its standard operating procedures and currently an internal investigation is taking place.”

Zoo owner Sally Padey said accidents were a possibility when dealing with larage animals.

“Whilst all safety measures are taken to minimise risk for both animals and keepers, occasionally accidents can occur when dealing with large mega fauna," she said.

Mogo Zoo has two male southern white rhinos, which arrived there in early 2015.

Half-brothers Kei and Jabari, both aged 11, weighed about four tonnes each at that point, and were about 1.8 metres tall.

On their arrival, manager Paul Whitehorn said the animals were generally quite placid but that Kei, the dominant of the pair, had been "a bit pushy".

“They've had a couple of disagreements over dominance and territory,” he told Fairfax Media at the time.

According to the zoo's website, white rhinos are among the heaviest land animals in the world.

"They produce two horns on their snout, made from keratin which can grow up to 1.8 metres in length," the site said.

The zoo remained open following the incident.

  • Reporting with Bay Post and SMH.​