News Release- Freeport Animal Bite

Sheriff's Office Updates & Alerts - Stearns County, Minnesota
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Freeport Animal Bite

On July 13, 2022, at 2:44 PM, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an animal bite which occurred at the Hemker Park and Zoo. The zoo is located a few miles outside the City of Freeport.

Upon arrival deputies learned that the victim was an employee of the zoo and was escorting a camel through an alleyway to prepare it for transport to another facility. The victim was identified as Roger Blenker, 32, of Albany. During the process, the camel placed Blenker’s head into its mouth biting down on his head. The camel then dragged Blenker by the head approximately fifteen feet. A second employee identified as Seth Wickson, 32, of Texas, was able to intervene. Wickson placed a plastic walking board into the camel’s mouth to release its bite from Blenker’s head. After being released from the camel’s mouth, Blenker stood on his own and ran to a safe location. The camel then charged at Wickson and bit his head. Wickson was also able to get to a safe location on his own. Wickson refused any medical treatment.

Blenker was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital by Life Link Helicopter. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Melrose Ambulance and the Freeport Fire Department. The incident remains under investigation. The zoo is still open to the public. Blenker’s injuries are unknown at this time.

**Camel pictured is not the actual camel involved in this incident** 


Dispatch 320-251-4240   |   Records 320-259-3700

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