Missouri teen attacked by tigers

Monday, August 4, 2008 | 5:53 p.m. CDT; updated 6:34 p.m. CDT, Monday, August 4, 2008

ST. LOUIS — A worker at Predator World near Branson was critically injured in a tiger attack on Monday - the second time in two days that a worker at a Missouri exotic animal facility was attacked by a tiger.

Stone County Sheriff Richard Hill said the latest incident happened after a 16-year-old worker entered a pen to take a photo for a customer and was attacked by three tigers. One of the animals knocked the teenager to the ground, while two others dragged the boy into a water pool.

Employees managed to pull the teen from the cage before emergency responders arrived. The teen was airlifted to a Springfield hospital and was in critical condition, with injuries including punctures to his neck. His name was not released.

The tigers were "locked down" after the attack, Hill said. A woman who answered the phone at Predator World said she could only confirm that a staff member of the "Predator World family" had been seriously injured.

Meanwhile, an investigation continued after a tiger attacked a volunteer Sunday at the Wesa-A-Geh-Ya facility in eastern Missouri. There, an 800-pound tiger jumped a gate before it mauled a volunteer.

The 26-year-old victim had surgery on his lower leg and was expected to recover, said Warren County Sheriff Kevin Harrison. The facility has been criticized by animal rights groups and fined by the federal government in the past.

Harrison said the tiger was shot and killed before authorities arrived. But he said those on the scene tried to cover up what happened by saying the volunteer was attacked by a pit bull. Only later Sunday were authorities told what really happened and led to the tiger's carcass, which had been taken to another property.


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