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Employee 'doing well' after being bit, dragged by camel in Stearns County

According to Jacki Poepping, co-owner of the Hemker Park and Zoo, the employee was airlifted as a precaution.

FREEPORT, Minnesota — Two men were bit by a camel at a small zoo near Freeport, Minnesota Wednesday, according to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

An official at the Hemker Park and Zoo said it happened during a training exercise should the camel need to be transported to another zoo or breeding facility. During this exercise, one of the camels bit down on one of the owners' heads and dragged him. Police say he was dragged about 15 feet before another employee helped get the camel to let go.

"Roger is doing well. He is at home. He is recovering," said co-owner Jacki Poepping. "He has just a couple of small, minor injuries that are non-life threatening and is expected to make a full recovery." 

Law enforcement said the second employee was also bit by the camel, but was able to run from the animal to get to safety.

Police said the first bite victim was flown to St. Cloud Hospital, while the second employee turned down any medical treatment. According to Poepping, the employee was airlifted as a precaution.

"He is feeling really good, though. Certainly wants to get back to work, but we told him he had to just stay at home and recover for a time," Poepping said. "But he is ready to come back and be where he enjoys being." 

Poepping said the camel was uninjured and "is doing very well."

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