A Siberian tiger viciously clawed at and bit a zookeeper who was bringing it food – but the woman was saved because quick-thinking onlookers shouted and threw rocks at the beast until it backed off.
The big cat, named Typhoon, sprang on the unidentified keeper at the Kaliningrad Zoo in Russia because its cage door had been accidentally left open.
Shocking photos show the tiger gnawing on the young, dark-headed woman as she lay on her back screaming in terror. The attack happened near a fence mere feet from where zoo visitors had been taken photos of the orange and black striped tiger.
Besides throwing rocks, some men managed to lift a table and chairs from a nearby café and hurl them over the fence to distract the big cat while the keeper crawled away to safety.
The unnamed woman zookeeper, from Kaliningrad, was badly mauled but rushed to hospital and is expected to survive.
“The girl’s face was bleeding,” the Daily Mail said one witness said.
“She screamed and tried to fight off the animal.”
No other zoo employees were not present at the time.
The Siberian tiger — the largest cat in the world — was supposed to be contained in another part of its compound when the woman brought its food.
In a statement, the zoo praised the visitors who saved the employee’s life.
“The animal entered the enclosure when the keeper was there. The tiger attacked the human,” the statement read.
“Visitors with their shouting, stones and other improvisation managed to distract the animal. This allowed the zoo employee to hide in a back room.”
It was even visitors who called an ambulance.
Zoo staff eventually arrived and shot a sedative into the 16-year-old “elderly” tiger.
Saturday’s attack was the first time Typhoon had ever shown aggressive to a human, the zoo said.
Source: Google Alerts
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