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A zookeeper at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Oklahoma was attacked by one of the zoo’s tigers after she stuck her hand inside the animal’s cage on Saturday.
On the park’s Facebook page, they released a statement saying that the incident occurred at 10 a.m. this morning when “a female worker violated safety protocol and placed her hand inside a adult male tiger cage.”
The large, loose jacket that the woman was wearing would not allow her to pull her hand back out of the cage quickly enough to get it away from the tiger. The tiger caught sight of her hand and grabbed it, pulling her entire left arm through a 4-inch hole.
Park medics arrived at the scene within two minutes and were able to pull her free from the cage.
According to USA Today, the woman was taken to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City by helicopter for treatment. Upon being taken to the hospital, she was expected to survive the attack, though officials were not sure if her arm would be saved.
Later in the evening, the zoo made another post saying that the woman underwent surgery and her doctors were able to save her arm, though “she has a long road of repairs ahead of her.” They added that she is awake and was talking on the phone earlier this evening.
The 14-year-old tiger that attacked the woman has reportedly never showed aggression toward anyone before the incident today.
The woman’s name has not been released, pending the notification of her family members.