Listen Live

FREEPORT, Minn. – A Minnesota zoo employee was injured Wednesday when a camel bit down on the man’s head on Wednesday, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news

According to a news release from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Roger Blenker, 32, of Albany, was escorting the camel through an alley to prepare it for transport from Hemker Park and Zoo when the animal “placed Blenker’s head into its mouth” and bit down.

The camel dragged Blenker about 15 feet until Seth Wickson, 32, of Texas, intervened, the sheriff’s office said.

Wickson placed a plastic board into the camel’s mouth to get the animal to release its bite, the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis reported. As Blenker fled, the camel charged at Wickson and also bit his head, according to the newspaper.

Wickson managed to get loose from the camel’s grip. He declined medical attention, KARE-TV reported.

Blenker was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital, the St. Cloud Times reported.

Hemker Park and Zoo said in a Facebook post that “during normal zoological operations there was an interaction between one of our owners and a camel.”

The zoo added that Blenker was “expected to make a full recovery.”

“He has been alert, oriented and able to move around with some minor injuries that are all non-life threatening,” zoo officials wrote. “We want to thank all of the medical providers and the support and prayers from everyone. It is greatly appreciated.”

The camel was not injured.

The incident is under investigation, the sheriff’s office said. The privately owned zoo remained open to the public, according to the Star Tribune.