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Hyena attacks employee at Wildlife in Need

Wildlife in Need has faced controversy in recent years with alleged abuse and mistreatment of animals.

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — (WHAS11) --The Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirms a hyena attack in Charleston, Indiana.

Officials said an employee of Wildlife in Need was bitten by a hyena early Friday morning.

A staff member at Wildlife in Need told WHAS11 News that everyone was okay, before asking crews to get off the property.

The non-profit organization prides itself on being “a safe harbor to exotic and endangered species,” according to the website.

Wildlife in Need has faced controversy in recent years with alleged abuse and mistreatment of animals.

In 2016, the owner Tim Stark was accused of beating a leopard to death with a baseball bat.

He confirmed it happened in an interview with WHAS11, claiming it was his way of euthanizing the animal.

In 2017, PETA alleged he was abusing a Kodiak bear cub during one of the refuge's educational shows.

He denied those accusations and said he raised the cub and had a child-parent relationship with it.

It’s unclear how long the hyena has been at the facility and how long the employee has been working with the animal.

It’s also unclear what will happen to the hyena next.

Following the incident, PETA released this statement:

PETA is aware of one hyena who is held in a virtually barren enclosure at Wildlife in Need and who has been documented displaying frantic stereotypic behavior indicative of extreme psychological distress. PETA is currently suing Tim and Melisa Stark over their practices of tearing big-cat cubs away from their mothers, amputating their toes at the final joint, and tormenting them for entertainment, and this latest incident is yet another reason why it is vital to continue fighting for every animal at Wildlife in Need to be moved to safe, reputable facilities capable of providing them with appropriate care.

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