Tiger Bites Employee at Roadside Zoo in PA
DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- A Harrisburg woman is recovering after being bitten by a Bengal tiger at the Lake Tobias Wildlife Park in Halifax Township, Dauphin County.
IMAGES: Tiger Bites Woman
Investigators say the victim, who asked that her name be withheld from the media in consideration for her privacy, is a tour guide driver at the park and in her twenties.
It happened around 5 p.m. Thursday in a non-public area of the park. Don Federaff, Chief of the Halifax Ambulance Company, told News 8 the worker was in a walkway between two cages.
The employee apparently climbed over a fence to get into an area that is restricted to the public's use, and then she stuck her hand through the fence into the tigers' cage.
According to Halifax Fire Chief Bob Stout, the employee was actually petting one of the tigers when the other tiger, out of jealousy, came up and clamped his mouth over her arm. The tiger bit down when she tried to pull her arm away.
"She kept saying it was her fault and that it was an accident," said Stout.
The woman told first responders she has pet the animals hundreds of times before. Park officials say the woman was not authorized to be near the big cats.
The employee was flown to Hershey Medical Center via Life Lion, where she underwent surgery for her injuries. She was released from the hospital Friday and is recovering well.
Stout says Life Lion was used because the incident happened during rush hour and crews were worried about the traffic. The Halifax Fire Department was called to the scene because it was originally though that bolt cutters would be necessary to be cut through the fence.
Lake Tobias Wildlife Park issued the following statement on behalf of the employee:
Surgery was performed on her injured arm and, with therapy, she is expected to regain complete use of her arm. Her concern at this time is for the park and the tiger, and expresses her regret for causing undue attention to the park and concern to the public.
Lake Tobias is about 25 miles north of Harrisburg and 4 miles north of Halifax. It offers a wild life safari tour where you can interact with animals. There is also a zoo portion of the park.
The park's website highlights its Bengal tigers that are housed in the zoo portion of the park. The site also says Bengal tigers are known as one of nature's most feared predators and can kill animals over twice their size.
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