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Lion attack in Australia leaves zookeeper badly injured

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image captionThe zookeeper was bitten by two lions (not pictured)

A zookeeper has been critically injured after she was attacked by two lions in Australia, authorities say.

The 35-year-old woman suffered severe face and neck injuries on Tuesday at Shoalhaven Zoo, about 150km (90 miles) south of Sydney.

She had been cleaning an enclosure when she was set upon, New South Wales Police said.

The zoo said it would assist a police investigation and provide support to other staff.

Paramedics said the woman was found unconscious in the enclosure with severe injuries including bites and lacerations.

"The attack was extremely vicious," said Insp Faye Stockmen from New South Wales Ambulance.

She added the animals had been restrained after the attack but it was nonetheless daunting for paramedics: "We literally had to walk into a lion's den."

The victim was flown to a Sydney hospital in a critical condition.

Shoalhaven Zoo has been closed since 25 March due to coronavirus lockdown rules.

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In 2014, a handler at the zoo was dragged by a crocodile into water in an enclosure while giving a presentation to visitors. He survived with injuries to his hands.

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