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Orangutan at Ohio zoo grabs volunteer’s arm, detaches thumb

January 23, 2019

Orangutan at Ohio zoo grabs volunteer’s arm, detaches thumb

TOLEDO, Ohio — An orangutan at the Toledo Zoo grabbed the arm of a volunteer during feeding, biting her forearm and detaching her thumb, according to reports.

WTOL Channel 11 reports the volunteer, who has 18 years of experience, is optimistic the thumb will regain function after it was reattached at a hospital.

The incident with the male orangutan, named Bajik, occurred Saturday, The Blade reports. Zoo officials tell The Blade the woman was feeding Bajik through a protective barrier when the orangutan grabbed her thumb and pulled her forearm between steel bars.

A review of the incident by zoo officials shows safety protocols were followed, WTOL reports.

In November, an error by a keeper at the zoo allowed Bajik, 14, to leave the exhibit space and enter the keeper area. A keeper used pepper spray as a deterrent and Bajik returned to the exhibit area, The Blade reports.

The keeper had minor injuries from the pepper spray.

A zoo official tells The Blade that orangutans are naturally curious and will test their boundaries in their teens.

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