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ZOO Antwerpen Reindeer Attacks Zoo Keepers Attack Reindeer

Discussion in 'Belgium' started by Peter Dickinson, 14 Mar 2010.

  1. Peter Dickinson

    Peter Dickinson Well-Known Member

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    The zoo world has gone surprisingly (or perhaps not) quiet over the unfortunate incident with the Reindeer. Up to now it has had little attention from the paper press though the footage has been shown on television.

    I would very much like to see an explanation somewhere. In the meantime I am genuinely concerned about the animal once it went of view.

    If you have not seen the video you can watch it here.

    Reindeer Attacks Zoo Keepers Attack Reindeer
     
  2. whiteorca

    whiteorca New Member

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    Pure incompetency

    I have just watched that video. The staff in that zoo should be sacked or at the very least retrained. They took an already dangerous situation and made it far worse. If an animal is attacking you get out of the enclosure. Fair enough when it first attacked the female keeper was trapped, and that warranted doing what ever was necessary to get her free. But then you get out of the enclosure and wait for it to calm down, you don't start to attack the animal in order to subdue them. Also it looks to me that the attack was an adult protecting the young in the herd. I wonder, given the way they were treating the adult, made it think it was necessary?
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    that is absolutely disgusting behaviour! I too would be concerned about what happened to the deer after it was taken away. I was honestly absolutely speechless while watching this video.

    I'd be very interested from anyone who can translate what the visitors were yelling - although I can imagine from the sounds of distress in their voices - and more particularly what the male keeper was saying back at them

    Absolutely appalled!
     
  4. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Continually whacking the reindeer with a shovel was a little shocking to see, and it would be intriguing to know what was being said to individuals off camera.
     
  5. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    This is quite shocking, does anyone have contacts at Antwerp with more information? I'm also curious to know what is being said.
     
  6. torie

    torie Well-Known Member

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    A statment of the zoos website translated rather poorly courtesy of Google says that they have now switched to protected contact with the reindeer in question

    "Regrettably take between man and animal
    Posted on 12.3.2010 | Category: Divers - Wildlife
    September 21 last year were a reindeer and a male nurse uncomfortable with each other. Shortly afterwards was one of our visitors a movie about this incident put on youtube. Both the nurse and the male reindeer has no permanent injury to take over their account, but happy.

    Until the time of the adoption, these carers had experienced no problems with the conscious male. A reindeer in rut can be dangerous. Possibly defended the male and female are in the nurse saw a competitor. The reindeer leaped her. In an attempt to ward off the animal, the nurse wounded in the neck. A reindeer antlers are used to attack. He can exercise this tremendous power. The antlers of a reindeer has sharp edges and barbs and is made of hard material. It contains no blood vessels and nerves.

    The nurse has reacted in panic and the animal in every way possible to try to ward off any other injuries to walk. Her colleagues came to her aid. The defense method resulted from a reaction of emotions and self-preservation. Both the nurse and the male reindeer has no permanent injury to take over their account.

    The KMDA regrets this incident in September last year and saw immediately that in the future can not happen. The reindeer stay and the port system was adjusted so that the carers not in the residence of the male and may have come. The protocol was tightened security."
     
  7. ZooLeopard

    ZooLeopard Well-Known Member

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    That is so appalling :O

    The woman and man that hit the animal with a SHOVEL should undoubtably be sacked. That is no way to treat an animal. The woman could not have been that hurt as she repeatedly managed to smack the animal in the face! The best thing to have done would have been to leave the reindeer be and let it calm down. Clearly the herd has offspring so this may have been a factor.
     
  8. elandantiloop

    elandantiloop Active Member

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    The accident happened last september and didn't leaked out in the press until last week.
    The zoo regrets what happened. The staff did always walk in the exhibit with the reindeers to clean, etc.
    I can imagine that the woman was quit shocked and upset after the attack of the deer. If i would bleed that badly I would be mad also. I think that their adrenaline rush made them not thinking straight anymore and lose control of the situation and themselves.

    Antwerp zoo is the largest (in visitors) and most respected zoo in Belgium. This incident hassen't made a lot of fuzz around here. It stood on the cover of the provence newpaper. And afterworths there were some bad comments from readers but that was it. Gaia, the belgium organisation for animal rights said that this was a scandal and wanted to have the staff fired. But they have a bad image over here and nobody really takes any attention to them.

    It was a hot topic for one day, but now it's old news over here.

    PS: the people in the incident say that the zookeepers shouldn't hit the deer. The zookeeper said that they would better keep their comments for themselves.
     
  9. Vulpes

    Vulpes Well-Known Member

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    I have just seen this!!! what the hell is going on there!!! Why did they not get out of there? were they trying to kill it with the shovel or what? that poor animal! I think the zoo should suffer over this! Those staff should be fired and all remaining staff retrained. I have heard many times that male deer are statistically the most dangerous animals kept in zoos, they should be treated with a hell of a lot more respect! A deer farmer not far from me was killed by a stag he had handreared from birth.
     
  10. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    It was necessary to hit the deer because there was no other way to get it off the keeper. Handreared deer are more dangerous than parent reared ones and many zoo's have a free contact policy because Reindeer very rarely attack people!
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    and was it necessary to repeatedly swap the people holding the deer and take turns hitting it with the shovel? Just asking.
     
  12. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    But hitting the deer wasn't getting it off the keeper, repeatedly wacking it with a shovel was clearly not going to work and as Chlidonias noted, the people holding the deer changed. I can understand that in panic or confusion people don't always do the right thing but this was disgraceful.
     
  13. Vulpes

    Vulpes Well-Known Member

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    yeah I agree, they had quite a bit of time there to go and get more help, a tranquilizer gun, a rope to tie the deer to something or even tie its legs together! This was extremely unprofessional!
     
  14. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    A tranquilizer gun is exactly what I thought was needed. Again I appreciate it is easy to comment from the outside but this doesn't just reflect badly on Antwerp and the individuals concerned but is detrimental to the entire zoo community worldwide.
     
  15. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

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    I know this kind of shovel, you have to hit some or thing very, very hard to inflict some slihgt injuries. And it is very clear that as soon as they let the reindeer go it attacked them again, so they couldn't get out without getting hurt. So they did the logical thing, to get the animal to get a better idea, namely not to attack them as soon he's released. This sort of things are sometimes the best way to get respect form an animal, that if they behave bad, they get punished. And again, with this kind of shovel would it be an enormous achievement to injure the animal.
     
  16. LeeMac13

    LeeMac13 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if you would feel the same if somebody got that shovel and hit you in head with it!:mad:
     
  17. Gorilla Gust

    Gorilla Gust Well-Known Member

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    If Johnny would have the head and the antlers of a reindeer, he could take it. The weak human head is not the same as that of a reindeer. And the animal was in rut (i think that is the term in English?), he was just more aggressive then the zookeepers could expect. Like elandantiloop said, they took some lessons out of this accindent from last summer, and everything goes well now.

    The reindeer is fine. And fortunately the zookeeper also.
     
  18. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Just a simple question which would you prefer to be hearing about the death of a keeper because the rest of the staff did nothing or the story that you are hearing now in which both are still alive?
     
  19. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    I have only just seen this footage.
    Firstly , that male was definately in rut and also very protective of his females and offspring therefore he was in a very dangerous state.
    Either one of those reasons would explain his behaviour.
    Personally I would never enter the enclosure of an adult male Reindeer without at least a wheel barrow and brush , NOT a wheelie bin - they are too awkward and difficult to manouvre if you need protection in a hurry.
    At the first sign of trouble you get out quickly.
    Once attacked it is very difficult because once you grab the antlers , which you almost have to do, you are stuck , you are in a catch 22 situation , you can`t let go but the more you hold on the worse it is.
    Hitting the animal only makes it more angry. A dart is the only safe way out , they had plenty of time to fetch a dart gun.
    I looked after two male Reindeer, kept separately, one was very dangerous at all times but worse during the rutting season, the other was fine but they were never to be trusted fully.This is without females around so you can imagine what they are like with females and calves around. Hand-reared animals, like all male deer, are seriously dangerous. I also looked after a hand-reared adult male Red Deer once - again an nasty piece of work , you simply could not enter his enclosure, his food was thrown to him!
     
  20. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Two things come to mind:
    1) Armchair philosophy and logic.
    2) Just a stick to hit the zoo management with (and to whose benefit?).

    Finally: old news really. Learn from it (which they obviously have since switching to protected contact) in hindsight. And get on with life. :cool: