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Kentucky 6-year-old blinded by gunfire receives 'Zoo Buddies' experience

The little guy got a special experience and had the chance to have special encounters with some of the animals at the Louisville Zoo on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A boy injured and blinded by gunfire received a special experience, thanks to the Louisville Zoo.

Six-year-old Malakai Roberts of Lexington joined Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies at the Louisville Zoo on Saturday and got the chance to have an encounter with animals including a tortoise and a rhinoceros.

He told onlookers his favorite moment was the rhinoceros.

“I like how he feels,” he said.

Malakai was injured in late 2021 after he was struck by gunfire while in bed at his home.

His mother Cacy told ABC affiliate WTVQ that since his surgery, Malakai no longer has a sense of taste or smell in addition to his blindness.

The Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies program was an initiative created to explore the healing and therapeutic power of animals with young kids in the community who have experienced secondary trauma from violence.  

Credit: WHAS-TV
Malachi touching the Rhinocerous

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