A central Minnesota zookeeper was hospitalized Wednesday after being bit on the head by a camel and dragged approximately 15 feet before another employee, who was also bit, could intervene.
The incident unfolded around 2:45 p.m. at the Hemker Park and Zoo near the town of Freeport.
According to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, a 32-year-old Roger Blenker was escorting the camel through an alleyway when the camel placed Blenker's head into its mouth, bit down and dragged him around 15 feet.
Another zoo employee, 32-year-old Seth Wickson, came to Blenker's rescue and placed a plastic board into the camel's mouth to release its bite.
The camel then charged at Wickson and also bit his head, according to authorities. Both men were eventually able to run to safety.
Blenker was transported by helicopter to St. Cloud Hospital and Wickson declined medical treatment, authorities said.
On Wednesday evening, Hemker Park & Zoo issued a brief statement about the incident, which the zoo said occurred during "normal zoological operations."
"Our owner did sustain minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery," the zoo stated. "The camel was not injured during the interaction and remains in good health. We thank you all for your continued support."