Tags: tiger | rips | off | woman | arm

Tiger Nearly Rips Off Woman's Arm After She Sticks Hand in Cage

By Alexandra Ward   |   Monday, 07 Oct 2013 10:47 AM

A tiger nearly ripped off a woman's arm Saturday after she stuck her hand in the animal's cage at an Oklahoma zoo.

The woman, who reportedly works at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, Okla., "violated safety protocol" and "placed her hand in an adult male tiger's cage," according to a statement from zoo owner Joe Schreibvogel.

Initial reports from CBS affiliate KOTV claimed that the woman may have lost her arm in the attack, but Schreibvogel said her arm was "tore up."

"He tore her arm up pretty bad," Schreibvogel told The Associated Press. "Her entire arm was still attached. It was badly, badly damaged… She pulled her own arm out. The tiger didn’t maul her. The tiger was in his cage, and she violated his space by sticking her arm into his space."

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The woman, whose name was not released because her family had not been contacted, underwent surgery Saturday and was reportedly in stable condition all the way to the hospital.

"She's actually the supervisor of the cats. But when you work with these things every day, you tend to let your guard down and think they’re pets, that they're like dogs. They're not — they're tigers," Schreibvogel said. "She made a mistake and we will all learn from it, but she wants to come back to work."

The tiger will not be put down, the zoo said, because the employee violated safety protocol by placing her hand in the cage.

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