An Oklahoma woman is recovering after a tiger attacked her at a zoo in Wynnewood about an hour south of Oklahoma City.
It happened late Saturday morning when an unidentified employee put her hand through a 450-pound tiger’s fenced enclosure. The zoo’s owner is withholding the woman’s name until he can reach her family. (Via KFOR)
The zoo’s owner added the woman, who is in her 20s, supervises cats at the park. The owner said it’s possible the employee might have let her guard down around the often dangerous animal. (Via KWTV)
KOCO spoke to the owner on camera and gave a graphic account of what he saw when he rushed to the victim’s aid.
JOE SCHREIBVOGEL: “It was probably one of the most shocking things I’ve ever seen in my life — one of my employees laying there with half an arm. … As the tiger pulled her hand, the fence ripped the skin off the bone.”
ABC notes this zoo is home to hundreds of exotic and endangered animals. The victim was reportedly screaming the attack was her fault as her coworkers rushed to save her.
Miraculously, she stayed conscious the entire ordeal. The zoo’s owner says this is the first time an attack like this has happened at the sanctuary. (Via NBC)
However, a representative with the Oklahoma Humane Society told KOKH she’s not surprised by what happened because the zoo has had several animal welfare violations in the past. The attacked employee also broke park policy by putting her hand through the fence.
The park was closed after the woman was attacked, but has since reopened. Surgeons at an Oklahoma City hospital were able to save the woman’s arm.