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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A male lion bit the arm of a 21-year-old zookeeper Sunday at Busch Gardens, severing it at the elbow, park officials said.

The woman was escorting her family on a behind-the-scenes tour of the theme park, officials said.

The 12-year-old, 350-pound lion named Max attacked the woman through a bar-style fence and was never out of his secure area, said Capt. Bill Wade of the Tampa Fire Rescue.

The woman, whose name wasn't released, was flown with the severed limb to Tampa General Hospital by helicopter.

She is listed in serious condition, a hospital spokesman said. It was unclear if an attempt would be made to reattach the arm.

Zoo officials said they had not decided what to do with the lion.