Tiger won’t be euthanized after attacking female keeper at Topeka Zoo

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TOKEPA, Kan. (CBS)  — A 7-year-old Sumerian tiger attacked and injured a female zookeeper at a Kansas zoo Saturday morning, authorities said. The attack was reported around 9:30 a.m. at the Topeka Zoo and the victim was transported to a local hospital where she is in stable condition, officials said.

The zoo’s director, Brendan Wiley, said the zoo’s primary keeper is in stable condition. The tiger, named Sanjiv, tackled the trainer in its outdoor habitat. She suffered lacerations and punctures to the back of her head, neck and back. Wiley said there was “no consideration” to euthanize the tiger.

“The male Sumatran tiger, Sanjiv, simply reacted the way that is normal for a tiger to do,” Wiley said.

The incident, which lasted under 10 minutes, occurred while the zoo was open to the public and others witnessed it. Molly Hadfield, a spokesperson for the city of Topeka, told CBS News the zoo shut down for 45 minutes but has reopened.

The tiger was placed into a holding area and the tigers would not be on display for the rest of the day, Hadfield said. The zoo’s director, Brendan Wiley, said there was “no consideration” to euthanize the tiger. The incident is under investigation.

According to the zoo’s Facebook page, the tiger was transferred to Topeka from the Akron Zoo in 2017. Wiley said Sanjiv recently fathered four critically endangered cubs.

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