Shanghai - 14 October 2005: Lion Mauls Zoo Cleaner On His First Day At Work

The zoo worker's first day, that is. He took a short cut through a lion's den and ended up brutally mauled. The newly hired cleaner was in critical condition Friday, state media reported. Japan's Mainichi News report is here, and the China Daily story is here.

Attacks of this nature are not that unusual. The Chicago Tribune has obtained a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture report under the Freedom of Information Act describing a Feb. 12, 2004 lion attack at a private zoo, Cougar Bluff Enterprise, near Elizabethtown, Ill. Simba, a five-year-old lion, killed associate keeper Al Abell in his first attempt to clean the lion enclosure. More information appears in this belleville.com story.