Zookeeper attacked by Bengal Tiger at Memphis Zoo - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Zookeeper attacked by Bengal Tiger at Memphis Zoo

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - A zookeeper is hospitalized in stable condition after being attacked by a tiger at the Memphis Zoo Sunday morning.

The incident happened before visiting hours in a secure area off-limits to the public.

"It was never a chance of it getting out," said zoo spokesperson Drew Smith. "It was back behind the scenes where only our zookeeper can go"

The zookeeper was bitten in the lower calf by a three-year-old Bengal tiger named Kumari, one of three housed in the Memphis Zoo's Cat Country exhibit.

The tiger was sedated shortly after the attack. Zoo officials said they don't know whether something provoked the tiger, which will remain separated from its pen mates until investigators can figure out what happened.

"These are wild animals, and so they don't necessarily need to be provoked. That's why we do a lot of steps to make sure that contact is very limited," Smith said.

The zookeeper was conscious when he was transported to the hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The Memphis Zoo declined to release his name, but officials said he is well-trained and highly experienced in handling tigers. 

Tune into Action News 5 at 10:00 p.m. for Ben Watson's report.


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