Zoo friends unite as a family as friends hang in there

PICTURES: A zoo friend who was bitten by a lion at a park in Zimbabwe has spoken out to say they have all bonded together.

Zebra tusker, a popular animal in the South African town of Tshwane, was bitten during the night of June 3 when the lion was hunting a wild boar.

A group of zoo friends took to social media to share their grief and to raise money to help Mr Kwan.

“It was a very big shock to everyone and we all felt for him at first, it was very distressing,” Ms Kwan said.

Her friend’s wounds were described as “severe”.

“The tuskers are a very close-knit group of people and they are all so grateful to have each other and they all feel the same way,” she said.

“Everyone in the group is really supportive of each other.”

A number of people are raising funds to help Ms Kwaan pay for the veterinary bills.

Many people are also taking to social networking sites to offer their support to the zoo.

Mr Kwan’s family is also taking part in a Facebook event to raise awareness about the lion.

One of the zoo’s most popular animals, the elephant named Chumba, died in July when his trainer tried to give him a ride home after the tuskers had arrived.

Zoo spokesman Tim Jones said the lion had been “captured by a group of poachers and was later shot dead”.

Mr Jones said that while Mr Kwaans injuries were “pretty serious” he was able to get to a hospital where he received an emergency caesarean section.

He said the zoo had taken all precautions to ensure that the tussle did not occur again.

The zoo’s president, Simon Wiesenberg, said Mr Kwand was being held in a safe enclosure.

However, he said it was too early to say if zoo staff would be allowed to enter Mr Kwuans enclosure.