WFMY News2 reported on October 2, 1018 that a visitor to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens was bitten by a rhino named Kendi. Kendi is a black rhino, which are “critically endangered.” The black rhinos are at risk because poachers want their horns. The number of black rhinos worldwide is fewer than 5,000.
Kendi was the first black rhinoceros to be born in the Cincinnati Zoo in 18 years. In just a little more than a year since birth, Kendi has grown to nearly 1,000 pounds. Kendi, according to the article, bit the tip of a man’s right index finger. The visitor was treated and is expected to make a good recovery.
This is not the only serious accident the Cincinnati Zoo has dealt with recently. Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla, was shot by zoo officials in 2016 when a young boy fell into the gorilla moat exhibit. The boy had climbed a fence, and fallen 15 feet into the moat. A federal study determined that a barrier which separated humans and primates was properly designed prior to the child’s fall.
Lincoln Park Zoo here in Chicago has had a few tragic stories like these, too, but they’re rare. In 2004, a lion attacked his keeper, and we once had a gorilla escape. The truth is, people get hurt at zoos every year, though most of the injuries have nothing to do with the animals themselves.
Premises liability for animals
But what if you’re attacked by a smaller animal – say, a family pet? Homeowners and businesses can be held liable if animals on their property attack and injure someone. While homeowners and companies don’t (usually) have pet rhinos, many people have dogs, cats, birds, and other animals that can bite someone.
Bites and attacks can cause infections, scarring, cuts and bruises, and other physical and emotional difficulties that require immediate medical treatment. In addition to emergency room treatment, victims may require plastic surgery. They should see their general physician. They may need to visit with other medical providers including infectious disease doctors and psychiatrists or psychologists.
Illinois’ Animal and Control Act holds animal owners liable if:
- The owner’s animal caused a victim’s injuries
- The victim did not provoke the animal
- The injured adult or child had a right to be on the homeowner or business owner’s property
Experienced animal bite lawyers understand the legal requirements for proving ownership and that you or your child had the right to be on the property of another person. We work with physicians to show the animal caused the scarring, bleeding, infection, or other injury. Children are especially prone to dog bites because they are too young to understand the dangers of getting to friendly with a dog that doesn’t know them.
Owners can also be held accountable if their livestock or animals are considered to be dangerous – if they attack or bite anyone.
At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago premises liability attorneys have the experience and resources to determine how the animal attack occurred and why the owner of the owner should be held accountable. We work with your physicians and independent doctors. We may also consult with veterinarians and other animal experts. Our lawyers guide you through each phase of the trial process. For help when an animal attacks you or anyone in your family, please use our contact form, or call 312.313.1621 to schedule a free consultation.