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JM | May 22, 2022

Lion pride? Jamaica Zoo stands by safety record after viral incident that left contractor without finger

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

administrator

First statement from Jamaica Zoo decries taunting while appealing for public’s continued support

A May 2010 photo of a lion, presumably on Jamaica Zoo’s premises in Lacovia, St Elizabeth. (Photo: Facebook @JamaicaZoo)

Jamaica Zoo Attractions Limited has today (May 22) distanced itself from the actions of an individual, who it labelled a “contractor”, caught on video taunting a lion before the animal ripped his finger off in an incident that has left Jamaicans shocked and appalled. 

Jamaica Zoo, in its first official statement, has appealed to the public to continue supporting its operations, as it said the actions seen in the viral video “do not represent safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to”.

Responding to questions raised by Our Today, Jamaica Zoo, based in Lacovia, St Elizabeth, offered no update on the contractor’s condition other than assurances that the company would be “doing everything” to assist him in “moving forward”.

The management of Jamaica Zoo, calling the taunting incident “unfortunate”, added that an internal investigation was opened into the content of the viral video. 

Horrific scenes of a man losing his finger to an enraged male lion at Jamaica Zoo in St Elizabeth as visitors unknowingly watch. (Photos taken from social media video | Twitter @OneciaG)

See statement in full below: 

“The Management and Staff here at Jamaica Zoo wishes to reassure the public that we pride ourselves on the love, care, and professional treatment our animals receive. Similarly, with respect to the professional conduct of all team members.

The actions displayed in a video, by a contractor to Jamaica Zoo, is tragic and do not represent the safety procedures and policies that must be adhered to at all times at Jamaica Zoo.

We are currently reviewing the video, with a view of preventing any future recurrences.

It is an unfortunate event that should never have happened, and we the family of Jamaica Zoo are doing everything to assist the gentleman in moving forward.

We do hope you continue to support Jamaica Zoo. We have always been and will continue to be a safe place for you and your family to visit.

Thank you

Signed, Management.” 

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