Rhino kills keeper and seriously injures another in attack at Austrian zoo

The female rhino reportedly reacted after it was smeared with insect repellent.

A rhino attacked and killed its keeper and injured another at a zoo in Austria on Tuesday morning, police said.

The fatal attack happened at Hellbrunn Zoo in the western Austrian city of Salzburg.

Police said in a statement a 33-year-old animal keeper was attacked by the animal, during routine work in the rhino enclosure.

Officers said it was not known why the rhino launched its assault.

The woman died from her injuries at the scene.

Another keeper, a 34-year-old man, was also attacked and seriously injured by the rhino while trying to scare it away.

He was taken to hospital.

The rhino is reportedly a 30-year-old female called Yeti.

In a Facebook post and on its website the zoo said it would remain closed on Tuesday.

According to local reports the keeper was tasked with smearing the rhinos with an insect repellent stick because they are sensitive to insect bites, zoo director Sabine Grebner said during a press conference.

During the press conference, Ms Grebner also expressed her deep regret and expressed her deep condolences to the Bavarian’s relatives, the Salzburger Nachrichten writes. 

“She was very careful and thoughtful with the animals,” Ms Grebner reportedly said.

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