Woman Attacked Running Through Wolf Enclosure at French Zoo

She apparently entered a restricted area while staying at a lodge
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2024 7:38 AM CDT

A woman staying at a lodge at a French zoo ended up jogging through the safari zone, where she was attacked by three wolves. The 37-year-old was staying with family at a lodge within Thoiry safari park and zoo 25 miles west of Paris when she was attacked on Sunday. Officials said she somehow strayed into the park's main safari zone, where only vehicles are allowed. Three Arctic wolves attacked the woman, biting her in the neck, back, and the calf of one leg, the BBC reports, noting that park attendants heard her screams. First responders arrived "very quickly," Maryvonne Caillibotte, the chief prosecutor in Versailles, told AFP.

The woman was taken to a nearby hospital. Caillibotte said it was not known whether she would survive her injuries. However, a source later told AFP the woman's injuries are no longer life-threatening. The woman had been staying in a lodge that promises "a one-of-a-kind, very intimate experience with the arctic wolves you'll be able to see from the living room." The park offers accommodations, protected by electric fences and ditches, near both the wolf and bear enclosures, per the BBC. A source told AFP the woman must have passed through "security systems, a trench and an electric fence supposed to keep the animals in." Caillibotte said it's unclear "whether she made a mistake or the trail wasn't clearly marked."

Wow Safari Thoiry CEO Christelle Bercheny said the woman "crossed the American reserve on foot," per CBS News. "The behavior of the animals in the reserves is that of animals in freedom or semi-liberty," she added. The zoo's website states the Arctic wolf, a subspecies of the grey wolf, is strictly carnivorous and "an outstanding hunter." The zoo is reportedly home to a dominant female, a dominant male, and their four cubs. (See one of them here.) It initially included 120 animals imported from Kenya when it was founded by a local chateau owner in 1968. The zoo, now home to some 800 animals, was purchased by a group of investors in 2018. (More wolf attack stories.)

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