Key Points:

Whangarei's "Lion Man" Craig Busch has been reprimanded after a woman employee was bitten when putting her hand in a lion cub's cage.

The volunteer worker, who was also rebuked, was "seriously injured" by the young lion when she was guiding a group of visitors at Zion Wildlife Gardens on April 23, the Northern Advocate reported.

The cub chomped on the woman through a hole in the fence designed for television cameras to film through for the Lionman TV series.

A subsequent Department of Labour investigation placed most of the blame for the incident on the worker.

"Her actions in attempting to stroke the cub had contributed to the incident occurring, as were her actions in going behind a safety barrier," a department spokeswoman said.

The department also rebuked Busch for failing to notify the authorities of what it called a serious workplace injury.

Busch was last year convicted of assaulting his former partner after he discovered her in bed with another couple.

- NZPA