Zookeeper Hospitalized After Tiger Attack

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City officials say a tiger mauled a zookeeper at the Topeka Zoo in northeastern Kansas.

Authorities say the individual, whose name has not been released, is a trainer at the zoo and is in critical condition. The tiger fathered four cubs past year, Wiley said.

After the animal arrived at Topeka, the zoo wrote on Facebook: "Sanjiv, a male Sumatran tiger, joined us at the Topeka Zoo this evening as a recommendation from AZA's Species Survival Plan".

According to Zoo Director Brendan Wiley, the keeper suffered injuries to lacerations and puncture wounds to the back of her head, neck, and one arm.

The zoo said a complete investigation will be conducted over the next several days that will review all policies and procedures around tiger management at the zoo.

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The zookeeper is the facility's primary tiger keeper, Wiley said, and has been working in that space for years. A firearms response team also was dispatched to the tiger exhibit, but zookeepers had successfully lured the tiger away by the time it arrived.

Praising the staff members for controlling the incident within about 10 minutes, Wiley shared that had it not been for "three heroes on our staff... this could have been a very different outcome".

"Nothing is going to happen to our tiger", Hadfield said. Staff members are never supposed to be in the same space with tigers, he explained. The zoo closed, then reopened about 45 minutes after the attack, which officials were investigating.

The Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center was open to visitors when the attack happenes.

Wiley added, "We have absolutely no concerns about the safety of our guests here".

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