Boy recovering after sea lion attack at zoo

2010-09-04 14:52

Sydney – An 11-year-old boy was recovering today after a sea lion had mauled him at a popular zoo aquarium show.

The boy, identified by his stepmother as Jack Lister, had been invited by zookeepers to meet the eight-year-old female sea lion during the Taronga Zoo’s seal and sea lion show yesterday. After feeding the animal, Jack mistakenly followed the sea lion off the stage, which spooked the creature, zoo officials said.

The sea lion bit the boy and left several puncture wounds on his stomach. Jack had abdominal surgery on Friday night and was in a stable condition in hospital.

Jack’s stepmother, Dalitta Wright, told Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph in a story published today that the attack was sudden.

“I can only assume he was going for the smell of the fish. Jack pulled himself away and it then lunged for his back,” said Wright, whose family was visiting Sydney from the northeast city of Cairns. “It all happened so quickly. It was quite traumatic.”

Zoo officials said the sea lion had never shown aggressive behaviour before. They were investigating the attack.

The seal show was scheduled to continue today, without the “encounter” portion of the programme. The sea lion involved in the attack will not be performing.

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