“She panicked and it showed, and then one of the wolves bit her,” said Mats Höggren, zoological head of the park to local paper Norrköpings tidningar (NT).
When the attack occurred, the girl was visiting the park out of opening hours with some family members, accompanied by an employee at the park who is a friend of the family.
According to Höggren, the girl’s panicked reaction to seeing the animals was unanticipated as none of the others had realized she was actually scared of the wolves.
“Somehow they weren’t aware of the girl’s fears,” said Höggren to NT.
When she acted frightened, the animal’s natural reaction was to pounce, explained Höggren.
According to daily Aftonbladet, this is not the first time that visitors to Kolmården have been injured when entering the wolf compound.
In 2010, a 21-year-old woman sustained a bite in the arm after entering the wolf area of the park and in 2007, Swedish TV-profile Arne Weise was knocked over by a wolf while visiting the compound.
After the girl was attacked, the park employee called for an ambulance and the girl was taken to a local hospital where the thigh wound was stitched up and dressed. She was later taken to a larger medical facility to undergo treatment with antibiotics. A few weeks later, she is reportedly doing well.
The park is now overseeing its guidelines in regards to the wolf enclosure and the management is now considering raising the age restriction to enter the wolf compound from 15 to older.