Tiger mauls handler at Australia Zoo

Sydney, Jan 21 (IANS) An Australian zoo keeper was severely wounded when he was attacked by a 12-year-old Sumatran tiger after it became “hot and bothered”.

Local authorities on Thursday said the wounds to a 35-year-old big cat keeper at Australia Zoo on Queensland state’s Sunshine Coast were quite deep, Xinhua news agency reported.

The keeper was rushed to a hospital and is expected to be discharged later on Thursday evening.

Zoo owner Terri Irwin, widow of “Crocodile Hunter” and zoo founder Steve Irwin who died from a stingray barb in 2006, posted on social media that the keeper was attacked after “one of our tigers got hot and bothered”.

“Keeper is ok, tiger is ok,” Irwin said.

A statement issued by Australia Zoo on Thursday afternoon said while the 12-year-old tiger was walking through surrounding bushland during a daily enrichment activity, he “became overly interested in his surroundings”.

“When his handler approached him to change direction, he swatted his paw, resulting in a scratch on his left wrist, bicep and right side of the forehead,” the statement read.

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