Family sues Greater Vancouver Zoo after bears allegedly maul toddler

Jan 4 2023, 5:41 pm

A father is suing the Greater Vancouver Zoo after his two-year-old daughter was allegedly mauled by a bear.

Sophia Vienna Hanson, who’s now five, visited the zoo with her father Richard Hanson in August 2019. She stuck her arm through an unguarded chain link fence at the black bear exhibit, and a group of bears allegedly attacked and mauled her arm.

The allegations come from a document filed in the BC Supreme Court last month. Hanson argues his daughter’s injuries were caused by the zoo’s negligence.

The girl suffered a broken arm, lost part of her pinky finger, lost muscle tissue, endured bruises, cuts, and scarring, as well as psychological damages, the suit alleges. Hanson is seeking damages, health care costs, and remuneration for wages lost to care for his daughter.

The suit names the Greater Vancouver Zoo as well as K-Bros Developments Corporation as defendants. The allegations have not been tested in court. In civil court cases, unlike criminal cases, the standard of proof is a balance of probabilities rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.

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