An Omaha, Nebraska zoo employee was treated at a hospital and later released after she was bitten by a Komodo dragon Sunday.
The worker, who was not identified, was bitten on her hand by a juvenile Komodo at around 12:30 p.m. at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Following the incident, many questioned whether the Komodo dragon would be put down. The Henry Doorly Zoo took to their Facebook page to address the controversial subject writing:
The Komodo dragon involved in the bite incident today was a female juvenile, pictured here. She is two-and-a-half years old, three-and-a-half feet long and weighs 10 pounds.
Komodo dragons do have a modified protein that acts like a weak venom but has minimal effects. The greater concern with Komodo dragon bites is bacterial infection.
Some members of the public have asked if the animal will be put down. She will not and will remain in her enclosure as usual.
The zoo also denied earlier media reports, based on emergency dispatches, that the employee was critically injured during the incident inside a cage. The zoo added in a statement that the employee was released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, KMTV-TV reported.
A bite from a Komodo dragon could potentially cause a fatal septic infection in a human due to the dangerous bacteria in the reptile’s mouth.
The worker was injured when she reached for something during routine care of the Komodo dragon, the zoo told the World-Herald. The woman needed antibiotics and a couple of stitches, according to the zoo’s assistant curator, Stephanie Huettner.
The female dragon that bit the worker is about 4 feet long and weighs 10 pounds.
The Omaha Zoo receives around 1.7 million visitors each year.