A cage at the Kaliningrad Zoo in Russia was left open, allowing Typhoon the tiger to attack the female keeper

By Kelli Bender
November 06, 2017 12:30 PM
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Credit: EyeEm/Getty

Stick and stones stop tiger attacks.

According to the New York Post, a zookeeper was saved from a potentially fatal tiger mauling by some fast-acting visitors to the Russian park.

On Saturday, an unidentified female keeper at the Kaliningrad Zoo entered the tiger enclosure to feed the big cats. One of the Siberian tigers, a large, 16-year-old male named Typhoon, was out at the same time as the keeper because his cage was accidentally left open.

Shortly after the keeper entered the exhibit, she was attacked by Typhoon. The 392-lb. animal pounced on the keeper, knocking her down on her back, and began to bite and claw her.

This terrifying scene occurred just a few feet away from the fence that separates the exhibit from zoo visitors, who collectively decided to take action. It was this quick-thinking that saved the woman’s life.

In an attempt to get Typhoon off the keeper, guests threw sticks and stones at the big cat. Several other visitors took chairs and tables from a nearby cafe and hurled them into the exhibit to distract the tiger.

Their efforts worked. The tiger eventually stepped away from the keeper, allowing her to crawl to safety.

Once out of the enclosure, the keeper was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. She has numerous injuries but is expected to recover from the attack.

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The zoo responded to the incident by issuing a statement praising the guests who saved the keeper.

“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.”

Typhoon was sedated following the attack. The zoo said this was the first time the “elderly” tiger has acted out and shown aggression to any member of the zoo staff.