A tiger attacked a zookeeper at the zoo in Topeka, Kansas

Saul Bowman
April 21, 2019

A attractive spring morning at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas turned tragic Saturday when a male Sumatran tiger attacked a keeper, inflicting wounds that sent her to a hospital.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, when a Sumatran tiger named Sanjiv attacked the worker in a secured, indoor space.

"If we need to make updates to our current procedures, we will most certainly do that", Wiley said.

A few zoo visitors were present and witnessed the attack.

The zoo, which closed for 45 minutes, has since been reopened, she said.

The incident is under investigation but zoo officials did not plan any repercussions for Sanjiv.

Other officials say the two were in the outdoor habitat when the tiger recognized that the zookeeper was nearby and attacked. The female keeper, whose name has not yet been released, is in stable condition, but she suffered "lacerations and punctures" to her back, neck, head and arm, Wiley said. The keeper had been in the same area as the tiger. The keeper does regularly go into the enclosure to clean up after the tigers.

"The tiger was never out of its space", Wiley said.

Sanjiv is too valuable to conservation efforts to euthanize.

According to the zoo's Facebook page, the tiger was transferred to Topeka from the Akron Zoo in 2017.

"Sanjiv this morning did exactly what a tiger would when something comes into his territory", Mr Wiley said, adding there was "absolutely no consideration to euthanise Sanjiv."
His mating with the zoo's female tiger resulted in four cubs born in October.

Reporter Shawn Wheat said: "First responders are responding to the Topeka Zoo for a tiger attack".

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