We share the Earth with a number of incredible and potentially dangerous animals. Since the dawn of time, they’ve reminded us that we do not have absolute dominion over them, even if we are able to hold some of nature’s greatest apex predators in zoos.
It is no secret that animals which reside at the top of the food chain like tigers and sharks have the capacity to cause grievous bodily harm and even death. However, it’s highly unlikely that they will harm us humans unless they are provoked.
A good example of this is killer whales – otherwise known as orcas. They have been responsible for a number of well-publicized deaths in captivity, but there are no recorded incidents of these incredible animals harming humans in the wild.
Nature’s most recent reminder that we do not hold absolute dominion over its animals came in the form of a Siberian tiger attacking a 16-year-old zookeeper. The incident took place in Russia at Kaliningrad Zoo in front of a group of horrified tourists.
The tiger – named Taifun, which translates to Typhoon – was being fed when he suddenly decided to attack the unnamed zookeeper. Tourists being tourists, captured the incident in a series of photographs which show Typhoon going in for the kill.
“The girl’s face was bleeding,” a witness said. “She screamed and tried to fight off the animal.”
A little-known fact about tigers is that a larger population exists in captivity than in the wild, and, because of this, a shockingly high number of keepers have lost their lives in this manner. Between 1800 and 2009, tigers have killed almost 400,000 people.
This keeper, however, was not another statistic, and her life was saved thanks to the quick thinking of the tourists.
Fifteen-year-old Typhoon is a Siberian tiger – the world’s largest cat – and when the keeper entered his enclosure, she did so under the assumption that he was safely caged in another part of his compound. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
When the keeper was mauled, the onlooking tourists sprung into action to save her life because there was no other zoo staff in the area. They shouted whilst throwing stones and furniture from a nearby café into the enclosure to distract Typhoon.
Amazingly, it worked, and the zookeeper was able to run to safety in another part of his enclosure.
“The animal entered the enclosure when the keeper was there,” a zoo spokesperson said. “The tiger attacked the human. Visitors with their shouting, stones, and other improvisation managed to distract the animal. This allowed the zoo employee to hide in a back room. (sic)”
The commotion soon alerted staff to the incident, and Taifun was rendered immobile with a sedative.
Although the zookeeper managed to escape with her life, she was seriously harmed in the incident and taken to the hospital.
“The patient was delivered to the hospital with multiple wounds to the body and limbs,” a local health ministry spokesman said. “She is conscious, her condition is assessed as stable but critical. There is no threat to her life.”
“Typhoon has never before shown any aggression to zoo staff,” a source revealed.
The good news is Typhoon will not be put to sleep as a result of the incident, as it is in the nature of Siberian tigers to defend their territory.
We wish the zookeeper all the best recovering from the attack.
It turns out that Siberian tigers don’t like contraptions entering their territory either. This group of tigers was infuriated when they were approached by a drone and decided to attack it. This incident also took place in a zoo.
The contraption was flown into the tiger enclosure in an attempt to give the animals some extra exercise as the keepers knew that they would chase it. Thankfully, none of the animals were harmed as they destroyed the drone.