jdillon@batavianews.com

VARYSBURG — An animal caretaker was flown to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo after a zebu attacked her at around noon Thursday at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure.

The caretaker, a woman described as being in her early 30s, suffered injuries to her head and ribs. She was expected to recover.

The zebu had recently given birth to a calf and the caretaker had been checking on the baby when the incident occurred, according to an unnamed employee who witnessed the attack.

The employee said he was on his way to relieve a coworker for break when he heard screaming, spotted the caretaker in distress through the trees, and rushed over on the side-by-side ATV he’d been driving.

The employee was able to help the caretaker onto the side-by-side before speeding back to the lodge, where he carried her in to receive medical treatment, he said. There, the caretaker was evaluated by staff, who soon called an ambulance.

The employee said he wasn’t sure of the extent of the caretaker’s injuries, but that he knew she at least had damage to her head and torso.

Zebu are known to have “pretty big horns,” he said, and he had blood on his shorts from the caretaker’s injuries.

Too traumatized to finish the workday, he left as soon as she was airlifted, he said.

“I just hope she’s going to be OK,” the employee said.

William Streicher, county fire/EMS coordinator, said Mercy Flight took off from the landing zone at about 1:45 p.m. Streicher said Varysburg Rescue Squad and Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1