Minnesota zoo worker hospitalized after camel bites head, drags him

Camel at Hemker Park and Zoo near Freeport, Minnesota, bit two workers

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A Minnesota zoo worker is recovering Thursday after a camel bit him on the head and dragged him about 15 feet, officials said.

The incident happened Wednesday afternoon at the Hemker Park and Zoo near the city of Freeport, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office said. 

The 32-year-old worker, identified as Roger Blencker, was escorting the camel through an alleyway to prepare it for transport to another facility when the animal placed the Blencker's head into its mouth and bit down, the sheriff’s office said.

The camel dragged Blencker by his head about 15 feet before a second employee, 32-year-old Seth Wickson, intervened and used a plastic walking board to pry open the animal’s mouth, authorities said. 

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Blencker was able to stand on his own and run for safety, according to the sheriff's office.

A camel, like the one pictured above, bit a zoo worker on his head in Minnesota and dragged him about 15 feet.

A camel, like the one pictured above, bit a zoo worker on his head in Minnesota and dragged him about 15 feet. (iStock, File)

However, officials said the camel then charged Wickson and bit his head. Wickson was able to retreat to safety and declined medical attention.

Blencker was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital. The zoo later said in an update that he sustained minor injuries that were non-life-threatening and was expected to make a full recovery.

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The camel was not injured during the incident and remains in good health, zoo officials said.

Freeport is located about 91 miles northwest of Minneapolis.