Henry Doorly Zoo employee stung in the ankle by sting ray

(Omaha, NE) -- A Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium employee is stung in the ankle by a freshwater sting ray.

Douglas County 911 dispatch communication states that the employee, a woman in her 20s, was stung just before 12:00 Friday afternoon. The zoo says the staff member was accidentally stung by a freshwater stingray while working in the Lied Jungle. Zoo leadership says the stingray barb went through the staff member’s protective rubber boots, and into their ankle, while they were servicing the habitat. The zoo says four Henry Doorly EMTs responded and began treatment, which they have been specifically trained to handle. The staff member was taken to Nebraska Medicine for further treatment. Zoo leaders say a sting by a freshwater stingray is painful and warrants precautions regarding infection or allergic reactions but is not considered life-threatening.

The Zoo says it has standard operating procedures and protocols in place to ensure the safety of our staff, guests and animals. They say after an incident like this, there will be a review of this specific area to ensure best safety practices. “Our number one concern was the immediate care of our staff member,” said Dr. Luis Padilla, president and CEO for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “The health and safety of our staff, guests and animals is of the utmost priority to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.”

Dr. Padilla continued, “We also want to assure the public that Stingray Beach remains a safe experience. The stingrays that live in Stingray Beach are a different species than those in the Lied Jungle. The Stingray Beach stingrays are also managed differently so that they are unable to sting.”

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