PRAGUE -- An official says a zookeeper in the Czech Republic has been rushed to the hospital by helicopter after being seriously injured by a pygmy hippopotamus.

Jana Mysliveckova, the spokeswoman for the zoo in Dvur Kralove, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Prague, says the incident took place Wednesday afternoon. She said the female keeper, who was experienced, was being treated in the intensive care unit at a hospital in the nearby city of Hradec Kralove.

Hospital spokesman Zdenek Tusl said the woman had lost a lot of blood due to right-leg injuries and doctors were battling to save her leg.

Pygmy hippos weigh up to 275 kilograms (600 pounds) and are native to western Africa.

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