Peel Zoo zookeeper defends dingo that bit her face

Zookeeper Emma Mitchell-
Collett.
Peel Zoo zookeeper defends dingo that bit her face
Zookeeper Emma Mitchell- Collett.

A ZOOKEEPER from Peel Zoo has defended the dingo that bit her face and landed her in hospital.

Emma Mitchell-Collett (23) was bitten by Shiloh, a three-year-old male dingo, who lives at Peel Zoo.

Ms Mitchell-Collett said it was important not to compare dingoes to pet dogs.

“Dingoes are not dogs and they cannot be truly domesticated,” she said.

“I love being a zookeeper and know these incidents are bound to occur at some point working with animals every day.”

A 21-year-old volunteer was bitten by Shiloh earlier this month when she entered his enclosure to put a harness on him for a walk.

Ms Mitchell-Collett tried to protect the woman.

“I intervened to remove the volunteer and was bitten in the process,” she said.

“We were both transported to the Fiona Stanley Hospital for treatment.”

Ms Mitchell-Collet received surgery for her wounds at the weekend.

Interactions with Shiloh have been suspended while the zoo decides his fate.

Ms Mitchell-Collett, who has worked at Peel Zoo for a year and a half, does not want Shiloh put down.

“Prior to the incident, Shiloh received daily interactions with zoo staff without incident,” Ms Mitchell-Collett said.

“Once investigations are complete, improved guidelines and protocols for the management of the dingoes will be implemented.”

Shiloh was hand raised, with his sister Cleo, from the age of six weeks, until he was three months old.

A WorkSafe spokeswoman said they are aware of the incident but said the injury in this incident was not a reportable injury.

“However, if the keeper is deemed medically unfit for work for 10 days or more, it will need to be reported to WorkSafe,” she said.