A zookeeper in Quebec was attacked by a Siberian tiger at a Lac-St-Jean area zoo on Thursday morning.
The 51-year-old male zookeeper went to clean the tiger’s area before 9 a.m., and the animal was still there, though it should have been in its nocturnal pen.
The female tiger then attacked him, causing him to sustain neck injuries. Colleagues managed to pull the man out of the area when the tiger moved to another part of its habitat.
"We're trying to understand how this happened. Right now our main focus is towards the employee and his family, obviously, and also for the rest of the employees that are quite disturbed by the event,” Christine Gagnon, the zoo’s director of conservation and education said, reports Canadian news station CTV News.
Police are investigating whether or not a criminal act has been committed as the tiger was not supposed to be in the area.
The zookeeper is expected to survive, and was conscious when paramedics arrived at the scene.
“Right now he's at the hospital. His life is not in danger,” said Gagnon. “We are really lucky for that.”
The tiger is not expected to be put down, according to zoo officials.
Just earlier this month, on March 7, a 24-year-old Seattle woman was mauled to death by a 350-pound African lion inside a case. The incident occurred at her internship in Northern California at the Cat Haven sanctuary.
The 5-year-old lion was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy, but the victim died at the scene.