A toddler was injured after being bitten by a black bear at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Langley, B.C.
The British Columbia Conservation Officer Service says it received information Monday night that a child was injured due to an animal bite at the zoo.
Conservation officer Murray Smith said in a statement that the BC Conservation Officer Service determined a black bear in captivity bit the child in the arm.
Langley RCMP say the victim was a two-year-old girl who managed to stick her hand or arm through the fence.
BC Emergency Health Services says it received a call just before 7 p.m. Monday and dispatched two critical care teams and an air ambulance.
It says in a statement that a patient was taken by air ambulance to hospital in serious condition.
The Greater Vancouver Zoo also released a statement, saying their primary concern is with the injured child and family.
“The team at the zoo are deeply shocked and saddened by the accident that occurred yesterday and we are working on all fronts to gather all the information with all parties involved,” the zoo said.
Zoo officials did confirm the toddler was bitten by a bear while the child was in an area not authorized for public access.
“The Greater Vancouver Zoo adheres to the safety standards put forth by Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all patrons and our animals. Barriers are purposefully put in place to maintain a safe distance between patrons and our animals,” the statement from the zoo said.
“This is an active investigation on our end to confirm all details, and ensure the safety of all our guests, staff and animals.”
Conservation officers and RCMP are following up on the incident. The bear enclosure has been closed to the public until further notice.
“The conservation officer service will not be euthanizing any wildlife related to this incident.”
The Greater Vancouver Zoo is situated in Aldergrove, B.C., about 60 kilometres east of Vancouver. It houses about 600 animals, including a grizzly bear, lions and giraffes.
With files from Canadian Press and CBC