A zookeeper was hospitalized after being attacked by a tiger at a Kansas zoo

mlorenzphotography/Getty ImagesA closeup of a critically endangered Sumatran Tiger.
  • A zookeeper was hospitalized after she was attacked Saturday by a tiger at Kansas’ Topeka Zoo.
  • Authorities said it was an “error” for the tiger to be alone with the zookeeper and the zoo would review its safety protocol.
  • The 7-year-old Sumatran tiger, who is known as Sanjiv, will not be euthanised because he belongs to a “critically rare” species.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

A zookeeper is being treated for injuries after she was attacked Saturday by a tiger at Kansas’ Topeka Zoo.

The employee and the zoo’s Sumatran tiger known as Sanjiv were in the facility’s indoor tiger habitat, Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said at a Saturday afternoon press conference.

Wiley confirmed that the attack was an accident, and there is no remaining threat to the zoo’s other visitors.

The keeper is currently in stable condition after suffering lacerations on the back of her head, neck, back and one arm, Wiley said.

Wiley said the incident was unusual because the keeper wouldn’t normally be alone in the habitat with the tiger, and “some sort of error that occurred here.”

“While this incident is very unfortunate,” Wiley said, “he did what a wild animal, what a wild tiger does.”

“Some of our staff witnessed some things that you hope you go through a career without witnessing,” Wiley said.

The zoo has two adult Sumatran tigers: Jingga, a female, and Sanjiv, who was brought to the zoo in August 2017. Shanna Simpson, animal care supervisor, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Sanjiv “is the sweetest cat I have ever met.”

The zoo won’t be euthanizing the 7-year-old tiger who belongs to a “critically rare” species, Wiley said. The tiger previously fathered four cubs with the zoo’s female tiger, Jingga.

There are currently less than 400 Sumatran tigers on Earth,according to the World Wildlife Fund. The tigers originate in Indonesia, where they face population threats including deforestation and poaching.

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