Russia zookeeper recovering from tiger attack

image copyrightReuters
image captionAn onlooker took this photo of the tiger's attack

A Russian zookeeper is recovering in hospital after a tiger mauled her in front of shocked visitors.

The zoo, in Russia's Kaliningrad enclave on the Baltic, told the BBC that safety rules had been broken. The zookeeper and the Amur tiger should not have been in the enclosure together.

Visitors shouted and threw stones, chairs and small tables to frighten the tiger, and the zookeeper then fled.

Zoo spokesperson Ekaterina Mikhailova said police were investigating.

She declined to describe the zookeeper's injuries, but said: "Her condition is stable and her life is not in danger."

"The tiger - Typhoon - is still in his enclosure, and we're leaving him alone," she said.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe woman's injuries are not life-threatening, the zoo says

The zoo suspects that the zookeeper herself broke the safety rules while tidying up in the enclosure.

According to Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda daily, the woman is experienced and has worked at the zoo for 20 years.

Typhoon is 16 years old and has not previously acted aggressively towards zoo staff, a zoo statement said.

Amur tigers are rare and endangered in the wild, hunted by poachers and confined to dwindling habitats in Russia's far east.

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