Tiger attacks trainer at Seoul Zoo

November 25, 2013

By Kang Hyun-kyung

A three-year-old Siberian tiger sits at its cage in Seoul Zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, Sunday. The male tiger briefly walked out of the unlocked cage and bit a trainer, who was about to feed him, in the neck. / Yonhap

A three-year-old Siberian tiger sits at its cage in Seoul Zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, Sunday. The male tiger briefly walked out of the unlocked cage and bit a trainer, who was about to feed him, in the neck.
(Yonhap)

A three-year-old Siberian tiger attacked a trainer after briefly escaping from an unlocked cage at Seoul Zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, Sunday.

The 52-year-old trainer Shim sustained serious injuries from the attack and lapsed into a comma, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

At 10:10 am, the male tiger was sitting outside the cage and bit the trainer, who was trying to feed the animal, in the neck, according to accounts from officials from the city government.

About 10 minutes later, a stall owner near the cage found Shim collapsed on the floor and the tiger sitting outside. He reported it to the authorities.

It was one of two tigers donated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May, 2011.

There were no other victims ― the incident took place in the morning when few visitors were there.

Officials from the zoo, police and rescue officers confronted the tiger who walked back into the cage at approximately 10:38 a.m.

The situation was under control as trainers closed the gate.

Officials from Seoul Zoo declined to give a detailed explanation on how the tiger was able to get out of the cage.

A Seoul City official said he presumed the injured trainer failed to lock the gate of the cage while preparing for morning feeding.

Police and emergency officials are now investigating the incident.

In December 2010, a Malay bear escaped from a cage at the zoo. The bear was returned back to the zoo after being caught nine days later.

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