Leapin' Lizard: L.A. Zoo Speaks Up

06/25/2001 at 03:56 PM EDT

The Los Angeles Zoo has now stepped forward with its own report on the June 9 attack on San Francisco Chronicle executive editor Phil Bronstein, 50, by the zoo's 7-ft. Komodo dragon -- and it contrasts dramatically with reports given by Bronstein and his wife, actress Sharon Stone, 43. While Stone stayed outside the cage, Bronstein was instructed to remove his white sneakers for fear the reptile might mistake them for his usual meal of live rats. But Bronstein's left white sock ended up attracting the lizard's serrated teeth, tearing several tendons and crushing his big toe. After Bronstein pried the lizard's jaws open, his wife said, the editor crawled out the cage's feeding door and was taken by paramedics to an L.A. hospital. Later making light of the incident, he told his own paper, "It's L.A. I was just taking a meeting." But the zoo now says that a one of its workers actually forced the dragon to release Bronstein's toe as Stone screamed hysterically. "I tried to calm her down. She said that the bite was bad, down to the bone," zoo official Genie Vasels said in her written account. Stone, who initially said she did not blame zoo officials, last week publicly denounced them as "irresponsible" for letting her husband into the Komodo's enclosure. Stone's publicist, Pat Kingsley, told the L.A. Times that she had no trouble believing Bronstein's account. "He was a war correspondent," she said. "He's used to difficult situations."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters