Bitten zookeeper’s condition improving

Sharna Johnson

The mother of a Clovis zookeeper said because Gila Monster bites are rare, doctors struggled to figure out how to treat her son.

Sharita Haragan, said her son, Cody Machen suffered a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction after he was bitten by the venomous lizard Wednesday while transferring it between cages at Hillcrest Park Zoo.

Machen’s condition had improved dramatically — he was taken off a ventilator Friday afternoon and breathing independently —