fur seal punched bristol zoo suspended punch
(Vanessa Hunter)

Zookeper Suspended For Punching Seal

Possibly a sucker punch

fur seal punched bristol zoo suspended punch

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A British zoo has suspended one of its animal keepers while it investigates claims that the employee punched a seal right in the face.

According to Bristol Zoo officials, the punching occurred while the seal was being weighed. They did not say whether it was a sucker punch, or if the conflict had been escalating over time. The animal, an American fur seal, has been examined by a vet but appears to be fine.

The zoo released a statement regarding the incident, saying “Bristol Zoo would like to make it very clear that it has a zero tolerance towards such behavior and takes its commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare and conservation seriously.”

As of Wednesday all of the seals remain on full public display. However, the fur seal has reportedly been waddling around muttering the words, “cheap shot,” over and over.



From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Vanessa Hunter