Jacksonville zookeeper escapes charging lion

File photo of young lion at Jacksonville Zoe.
File photo of young lion at Jacksonville Zoe. (Photo by Rob Bixby via Flickr)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A young lion at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens charged at a zookeeper who was cleaning the exhibit early Wednesday, before the zoo opened for the day, according to officials.

News4Jax was told someone left a door open and the lion went through it to where the keeper was cleaning. She didn’t see the lion, but another keeper did, who yelled out a warning. The keeper in the exhibit jumped into the moat and swam to safety, which is what she’s trained to do.

The zoo’s lethal weapons team responded but did not have to intervene.

"We're fortunate," zoo Deputy Director Dan Maloney said. "We’re glad no one was hurt -- no animals, no people -- in the process.”

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