Kansas zookeeper out of intensive care after tiger attack

Tiger attack sends keeper to the hospital, officials say ‘nothing will happen to the tiger’

Topeka Zoo's director provided an update on Sunday after a keeper had been mauled by a tiger and explained the keeper was in recovery and that the tiger would not be euthanized.

The injured keeper was "alert and awake" when she was transported by medical responders and is now in stable condition at an area hospital, she said.

The 17-year employee of the Topeka Zoo was attacked on Saturday by a 275-pound Sumatran tiger named Sanjiv when she entered the animal's enclosure at about 9:15 a.m., officials said. "And within 10 minutes, three additional zookeepers had that tiger secured in an indoor area, which allowed medical personnel to get our keeper".

"There really isn't a circumstance where they should be in the same space".

Zoo director Brendan Wiley said the zookeeper was talking Saturday night.

Hadfield said authorities are waiting for the zookeeper to recover more before they interview her about why she was in the enclosure with the tiger.

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Some visitors also saw Sanjiv injure the worker, who suffered lacerations and punctures to her head and neck, and also was wounded on her back and an arm, he said.

The zoo reopened about 45 minutes after the attack. Shanna Simpson, animal care supervisor, told the Topeka Capital-Journal then that Sanjiv "is the sweetest cat I have ever met".

FILE PHOTO: Sumatran tigers are pictured before the play with leftover Christmas trees in the Tierpark Zoo in Berlin, Germany, January 4, 2019. He added that "this could have been a very different outcome".

Sanjiv first came to the Topeka Zoo, from a zoo in Akron, Ohio, in August 2017 as part of a breeding program working to expand genetic diversity in tigers. Mr Wiley said he did not know the extent of her injuries.

Zoo officials are investigating the incident. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, and only about 400 remain in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

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