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Wolf attack in French zoo leaves woman seriously injured

June 23, 2024

Three wolves attacked the jogger in France's Thoiry safari park and zoo. A French prosecutor said the woman was in a "restricted" area at the time of the attack.

Wolf and its cub seen in Thoiry park on August 1, 2002
The French Thoiry park offers safari-style lodges in its wolf zoneImage: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

A 37-year-old woman was seriously injured after three wolves attacked her at the French Thoiry zoo and safari park near Paris, French media reported on Sunday.

The extent of her injuries was not immediately clear, with Versailles Chief Prosecutor Maryvonne Caillibotte telling the French AFP news agency that her life was in danger. Meanwhile, French BFMTV said her life was no longer at risk.

What do we know about the incident?

The woman was staying with her family at one of the lodges at the zoo. She had spent the night at the park and is believed to have gone out alone for a jog at the time of the attack.

The woman "ended up in the safari zone, which is supposed to be restricted to cars. That's where she was attacked by three wolves," Caillibotte said.

She added that it was not clear "whether she made a mistake or the trail wasn't clearly marked." 

A source told the AFP that the woman must have got through "security systems, a trench and an electric fence supposed to keep the animals in." She was bitten "on the neck, the calf and the back," the source added.

First responders were quick to arrive at the scene and move the wolves away, Caillibotte said.

The wolf is back.. and it's hungry

Thoiry's safari-style zoo

Founded in 1968 by a local chateau owner, Thoiry zoo was sold to a group of investors in 2018. With 150 hectares in size, it hosts some 1,500 animals and around 100 species.

The zoo, which lies some 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Paris, offers safari-style lodges in the wolf zone premises. They are advertised at €220 ($235) per night.

Thoiry boasts the lodges on its website adverts, saying they offer "one-of-a-kind, very intimate experience with the arctic wolves you'll be able to see from the living room."

rmt/ (AFP, dpa)