Man who survived tiger attack is off critical list

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Man who survived tiger attack is off critical list


The Associated Press

Article Launched: 12/04/2007 12:12:22 PM PST



LOS ANGELES—A caretaker bitten in the neck by a 450-pound Bengal tiger was off the critical list Tuesday but remained in intensive care, according to a spokesman for the animal sanctuary where the attack occurred.

Chris Orr was receiving antibiotics and was alert and in stable condition, said Harlan Boll.


"He was very lucky, in the sense that he didn’t sever anything," Boll said.


Orr, 40, was attacked by a 4-year-old tiger named Alexander as he and the animal’s primary caretaker were cleaning Alexander’s enclosure at actress Tippi Hedren’s Shambala Preserve in Acton.


A call to a representative of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills was not immediately returned.


The primary caretaker looked away for a moment "and it just jumped," said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game.


"He grabbed him (Orr) by the neck and then just kind of dragged him around the cage a little bit," Martarano said.


The other man, who carried a stick, hit the tiger and "it just kind of went back to the corner peacefully," he said.


It was unclear what caused the attack but a warden investigated and found no public safety issues or violations at the sanctuary, Martarano said.


The sanctuary has 65 cats, ranging from bobcats to lions and has a good reputation he said.


"There hasn’t been any past problems that we’re aware of. They’ve been a really good client for years and years," he









Alexander, meanwhile, remained in his enclosure at the sanctuary, located in the high desert about 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles.


It will be up to sanctuary officials to decide the animal’s fate, Martarano said.


"It’s not a public safety issue," he said. "It’s basically their decision."


The sanctuary operators "are not going to do anything to him," Ball said.


Hedren, the sanctuary’s president, said Monday she rescued Alexander in 2003 after state regulators shut down a facility that was illegally breeding tigers.


"We’ll never know why these animals do these things," Hedren said. "It’s not his fault. It’s the fault of the breeders who breed these animals as pets."


Hedren, who starred in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "The Birds," said she supports a Congressional bill to ban the breeding of exotic cats.




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