Tiger bites off keeper’s hand and attacks two other people at safari near Tokyo

·1-min read
File photo: A Bengal Tiger enjoys a pool at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo in Mumbai, India (AFP via Getty Images)
File photo: A Bengal Tiger enjoys a pool at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo in Mumbai, India (AFP via Getty Images)

A 10-year-old Bengal tiger bit off a keeper’s hand and attacked two others at a safari park in the north of Tokyo on Wednesday morning.

The female zookeeper whose right arm was bitten off ended up losing her hand and was airlifted from the Nasu Safari Park in Tochigi prefecture to a hospital, reported Kyodo news agency.

Another woman was bitten on several parts of her body, while a male victim sustained an injury on the back of his head.

According to the safari park operator, the 2m-long tiger weighing about 150kg had not been kept in its fenced enclosure since the previous day. It entered the corridor leading to the exhibition area on Wednesday, when it attacked the keepers who were preparing for the day’s work.

An investigation has been launched to determine why the tiger was not in its enclosure and if there was any mismanagement on the part of the safari park.

According to the instructions in the park manual, keepers must ensure that the fence to the tiger’s cage is closed after the exhibition is over. However, it was not checked on Tuesday, and the tiger was roaming in the corridor the next morning, a park worker told the news agency.

The Bengal tiger, also known as the Royal Bengal tiger, is native to the Indian subcontinent, and can also be found in Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Malaysia.

The safari park, which offers tours to see 700 animals from 70 species, was closed for the day after the mauling.

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