TOPEKA, Kan. (CBS4) – A zookeeper at the Topeka Zoo suffered injuries Saturday morning after a male tiger attacked her. Zoo officials told the CBS affiliate, WIBW, the woman was alert when she was taken to the hospital.
The incident caused the zoo to close for less than an hour. It has since reopened.
While a city official say the animal and the zookeeper were in the “same space,” she could not specify what caused the attack.
Other officials say the two were in the outdoor habitat when the tiger recognized that the zookeeper was nearby and attacked. Officials say there is no instance when a zookeeper and a tiger should be in the same area at the same time.
The zookeeper suffered lacerations and puncture wounds to the back of the head, neck and back.
The incident lasted about 10 minutes. Officials credit the quick action of nearby employees.
The 7-year-old tiger in question, named Sanjiv, and others were put into holding cells. Sanjiv will stay there, while the others returned to their outdoor exhibit.
A livestream shows the animals in those holding cells.
The official said a few visitors reportedly witnessed the attack. The zoo does not plan on taking any action against the tiger at this time.
They say this type of attack has never happened at the zoo before, and they will use this incident in future safety protocol.