News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Jacksonville Zoo After Rhinoceros Injures Zookeeper

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the Jacksonville Zoological Society Inc. for exposing employees to workplace safety hazards at the Jacksonville, Florida, zoo. The animal park faces $14,661 in proposed penalties.

OSHA launched an inspection after a rhinoceros seriously injured a zookeeper. OSHA cited the zoo for failing to protect workers from recognized hazards when employees train and feed the rhinos, and for not notifying OSHA within 24 hours of the employee's hospitalization, as required.

"Zoos and animal parks must ensure safety measures include proper design to protect employees when training and caring for animals," said OSHA Area Office Director Michelle Gonzalez, in Jacksonville, Florida.

OSHA offers compliance assistance specialists (CAS) who can provide general information about OSHA's compliance assistance resources and how to comply with agency standards. Check the Compliance Assistance Specialist Directory for the CAS in your local office.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
June 25, 2019
Release Number
Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Share This