JSO bodycam video shows aftermath of bear attack at Jacksonville Zoo

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Body camera video obtained by News4JAX on Tuesday shows first responders assisting a zoo keeper after he was attacked by a bear at the Jacksonville Zoo last month.

According to a 25-page report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released Monday, a door was mistakenly left open.

In the report, it is explained that a door was accidentally left open and the zookeeper was pushed by the bear. Staff members tried to pull the bear known as “Johnny” away from the woman, but in the end had to put the bear down to save his life.

RELATED: FWC report reveals new information about December 2022 bear attack involving Jacksonville zoo keeper

Bodycam video shows a Jacksonville police officer rushing to the aid of the zookeeper after she was attacked.

First responders are seen assisting the zookeeper on a stretcher, her face wrapped in badges. As first responders take her to the hospital, she is conscious and talking. A zoo staff member explained to investigators what they had seen.

Officer: Did you witness any of this?

Zoo employee: We arrived when he was attacking her right here.

O: And what did you see happen?

Z: We saw the bear attack it here, and then the shooting team deployed and shot the bear and we were able to approach it and we euthanized the bear.

The staff member goes on to describe the wounds the bear left all over his colleague’s body.

According to the FWC report, the swing door of the bear cage was mistakenly left open and there is normally an animal transfer corridor where the bears can be turned.

The video still shows bear enclosures at the Jacksonville Zoo. (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.)

The zookeeper told investigators she opened the door “by mistake, out of habit”, without the transfer corridor in place.

She distributed food to Johnny and then to Claire, another bear in the other enclosure. After hearing the bears she checked and saw that Johnny was not locked up, moments later he attacked her.

The zoo keeper was taken to hospital but will survive what could have been a fatal attack.

State investigators have issued a written warning for not keeping captive wildlife in safe condition. On the day of the attack, FWC noted that the zoo was understaffed, so the bears were not going to be replaced.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.


JSO bodycam video shows aftermath of bear attack at Jacksonville Zoo

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