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Officials: Camel drags Minnesota zoo employee by head before biting another employee

Portrait of camel outdoors on green natural leaves background
Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 14, 2022

FREEPORT, Minn. — Authorities in Minnesota are investigating after two zoo employees were bitten in the head by a camel.

In a news release, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office said that deputies were called to the Hemker Park and Zoo on Wednesday around 2:45 p.m. after receiving a report of an animal bite.

The department said a zoo employee, 32-year-old Roger Blenker, was walking a camel through an alleyway because it was being transported to another facility when the animal placed the employee's head in its mouth and bit them on the head.

The camel then dragged Blenker by the head about 15 feet before another employee intervened, deputies said.

According to the press release, the camel released Blenker's head from its mouth after 32-year-old Seth Wickson put a plastic walking board into the animal's mouth.

Once released from the camel's mouth, the victim stood up on his own and ran to safety, the sheriff's office said.

Deputies said the animal then charged at Wickson and bit him in the head.

He was able to get to safety, officials said.

According to deputies, Blenker was transported to a hospital by a helicopter, and Wickson refused medical treatment.

Blenker's injuries are not known, the department said.

Officials said the cause of the incident is under investigation.

"The zoo is still open to the public," according to the press release.