Shocking Wake Up Call For Tiger Tamers

Shocking Wake Up Call For Tiger Tamers

Posted: Feb 28, 2008 09:47 PM EST

Omaha, NE – A scare at the Henry Doorly Zoo had workers scrambling, but only for a moment.

Sanjay, the white Bengal tiger, had a root canal. Vets had to put him under to work on it, but the patient had other plans. Zoo Director Doc Lee Simmons says, “It simply suddenly woke up ahead of schedule and stood up.” The 400 pound Bengal woke up; creating a bit of feline fright. Doc says, “It surprised the daylights out of everybody.”

The surgery was over. Sanjay was supposedly still sedated when workers were taking him back to his exhibit to sleep it off. Doc Simmons put it this way, “He simply came out quicker from the anesthesia than anybody thought it would.” When the tiger woke up, he was safe inside the cat complex behind a wall. Doc Simmons says the public was never in any danger and Sanjay had no way or no time to escape. The handlers shot him with a tranquilizer gun and Sanjay returned to slumber… Just as quick as he woke up.

Central High School student, Ryan Parks, says “I would want that dart gun with me. I bet he’s pretty mad after they were hacking at his tooth.”

Parks and other Central High students spend an hour every Thursday studying the tiger for Biology class. Freshman Winter McGuire says, “I would probably freak out and go ahhhhhhh. I would be pretty shocked.”

Now the students keep an eye on the tiger who’s got quite a tale to tell…even with a missing tooth.

Doc Simmons says a couple of things could have happened.
They’re checking the machine to make sure it’s calibrated correctly.
He also says tigers, like humans, react differently to drugs.
No one got hurt and the handlers always had control of the tiger… he says.


Tiger Puts Brief Scare Into Zoo Handlers

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