A zookeeper in Sweden was mauled to death by a pack of wolves Sunday as she was feeding the animals.
Eight wolves are believed to have surrounded the 30-year-old woman as she entered the wolf enclosure at Kolmarden Wildlife Park in Ostergotland province, reported the Daily Mail. A colleague discovered the unidentified woman, but she was already dead.
The colleague thought she had been gone longer than usual, so investigated and found her body, said Mats Höggren, director at Kolmarden, according to The Sun.
Emergency responders could not retrieve the body at first for fear of being attacked themselves.
You can't just go into a pack of wolves, said Jan Tengeborg, Norrkoping's emergency services coordinator, according to UPI. Police and ambulance staff couldn't get close to the victim until later.
Emergency services attempted to sedate the wolves in the enclosure before retrieving the body, but were unable to do so. Instead, they forced the animals back, while armed officials stood by, ready to open fire on the animals.
No one witnessed the vicious attack, but plenty of people saw the aftermath. The victim remains unidentified.
She was so badly hurt in the attack that she died of her injuries, said a police spokesman, according to the Daily Mail. We do not know why they attacked.
The staff at the zoo was in total shock over the incident.
This is terrible, said Höggren. She was alone in the wolves' yard but had contact with a colleague via two-way radio.
The director said the wolves would not be put down.
It's very unusual for something like this to happen, but it has happened before, said Olof Liberg, a wolf expert at Sweden's University of Agricultural Sciences, according to UPI. Zoo animals aren't afraid of humans, and accidents can happen.
The same pack of wolves previously attacked television naturalist Arne Weise when they were on exhibit as the Kolmarden Wildlife Park opened in 2007, reported The Sun. Weise escaped with his life.
We have to stop interacting so closely with wolves, he said, reported The Sun. It is wrong, the risk is too great. We must recognize they are dangerous animals.