Woman fighting for life after attack by wolves during morning jog at French zoo

File. Representational (AFP via Getty Images)
File. Representational (AFP via Getty Images)

A woman was reportedly attacked by three wolves in a French animal reserve when she stepped out for a jog in an area restricted to pedestrians.

The incident took place around 9am local time on Sunday, sources confirmed to the Le Parisien newspaper. Wolves reportedly bit the woman in the “neck, calf and back” at the Wow Safari Thoiry zoo in Yvelines, about 25miles (or 40km) west of the French capital, Maryvonne Caillibotte, the chief prosecutor in Versailles said.

The woman “ended up in the safari zone, which is supposed to be restricted to cars. That’s where she was attacked by three wolves”, Ms Caillibotte said.

The unnamed woman – who several reports said was 37 years old – was staying with her family for the night in one of the accommodations offered on-site. Once she strayed inside the prohibited area, she was confronted by three wolves.

She was reportedly battling for life in an Intensive Care Unit in a hospital. However, later in the day, AFP reported that she was stable and recovering.

“We do not know at this stage whether the guest made a mistake or whether there was a problem with the signposts,” an unnamed police source told Le Parisien.

On Sunday morning, the woman “crossed the enclosure on foot”, a reserve “which is only accessible by car”, the chief executive officer of the Wow Safari Thoiry park, Christelle Bercheny, told reporters during a press briefing.

“Luckily the medical staff intervened very quickly and we were able to save this person,” Ms Bercheny said.

First responders got to the scene “very quickly”, the wolves were “moved away, then returned to their area”, Ms Caillibotte said.

The woman was rescued after park attendants heard her screams during the attack. She was then taken to a nearby hospital, the BBC reported.

The CEO of the zoological park, Ms Bercheny told reporters that there were signs inside to remind people of the “rules of survival” to be followed in the park.

“The behaviour of the animals in the reserves is that of animals in freedom or semi-liberty,” AFP quoted her as saying.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The zoo has launched an internal investigation.

According to Le Monde, the Thoiry zoo was created in 1968 by the Count of La Panouse, who then sold the zoological park to a group of investors in 2018.

Lodges in the wolf zone, advertised on the zoo’s website, promise “silence, rest, and disconnection”. These lodges, the website notes, offer “a one-of-a-kind, very intimate experience with the Arctic wolves, which you’ll be able to see from the living room”.

Additional reporting by agencies.