Updated 12/18/2006 8:34 AM ET
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A tiger bit off the ear of a visitor who fell into her enclosure at a zoo in southern Ukraine, the zoo administration said Monday.
The 33-year-old Ukrainian man climbed on the bars surrounding the enclosure to pose for photographs and fell into the cage holding the tiger and her cubs, said Yuriy Kyrychenko, the deputy director of the zoo in the city of Mykolaiv, about 300 miles south of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The man was drunk when the incident occurred Friday.
The tiger attacked the man, biting off his ear and scratching his neck. He was hospitalized in a serious condition, Kyrychenko said.
“The man, his sister and their friend drank a bottle of vodka and then came to our zoo for entertainment,” Kyrychenko told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Police launched a probe into the accident.
There are no plans to put down the tiger, who was “recovering from a shock,” Kyrychenko said.