FREEPORT -- A man was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital after being bitten by a camel.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office says they were called to the Hemker Park and Zoo near Freeport at about 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

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 32-year-old Roger Blenker 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 15 feet.

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A second employee identified as 32-year-old Seth Wickson 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 zoo is still open to the public.

The zoo says Blenker will make a full recovery.

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