Topeka Zoo tiger will not be euthanized after attack; keeper in stable condition

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TOPEKA, KS (WIBW) - A Topeka Zookeeper was injured after being attacked by a tiger Saturday morning.

Sanjiv the Sumatran tiger prior to her move to the Topeka Zoo. (Courtesy: Akron Zoo)

According to Zoo Director Brendan Wiley, the keeper suffered injuries to lacerations and puncture wounds to the back of her head, neck, and one arm. She was reportedly awake and alert when she was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition at this time.

Wiley is not releasing the name of the keeper, however, he noted she was the tiger's primary keeper.

According to Wiley, the and Sanjiv were both in the outdoor tiger enclosure at the same time when the attack occurred and that "there really isn't a circumstance where they would be in the same space." The keeper does regularly go into the enclosure to clean up after the tigers.

"There was an error there," he added.

Zoo officials are not considering euthanizing Sanjiv. Calling the incident "very unfortunate," Wiley said the Sumatran tiger, "did what a wild tiger does."

The Zoo has reached out to Associated of Zoos and Aquariums about the incident and, Wiley said, they plan to review their policies and procedures in response to the attack.

A few zoo visitors were present and witnessed the attack.

The entire Zoo was closed for approximately 45 minutes before all but the tiger enclosure was reopened. The remaining tigers, except Sanjiv, have since been allowed out of their holding cell.

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