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According to PEOPLE, a San Diego Zoo employee was hospitalized after being bitten by a venomous snake. The employee was caring for an African bush viper, in a private zoo area, a spokesperson told the outlet.

Source: ABC 10 News/YouTube

As part of the statement, the spokesperson shared, “In keeping with our protocols, the staff member was immediately taken to a hospital for evaluation and medical care, and we remain in close contact.” According to the Seneca Park Zoo, the African bush viper has no specific antivenom treatment.

“Although the San Diego Zoo cares for a number of venomous reptiles, incidents like this are very rare,” the spokesperson noted.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated occurrence. In the past, zookeepers, circus trainers, and even visitors have been attacked, sometimes fatally, by bears, cheetahs, tigers, lynx, and more. Captivity is extremely stressful for wild animals because they are kept in small enclosures, often without enough enrichment, and can’t act upon all of their natural instincts. As a result, they may develop zoochosis and try to harm themselves, another animal, or a human that comes in contact with them. Wild animals belong in the wild, for the safety and health of themselves as well as humans.

Zoos are harmful to wildlife and do not help with conservation efforts, as they most commonly publicize. Animals are kept in small habitats and often suffer emotional distress. Sign this petition to call for a ban on zoos around the world!

Read more about why zoos are harmful to society in One Green Planet:

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