Australia Zoo's 10-ear-old tiger Juma earlier this year
Australia Zoo's 10-ear-old tiger Juma earlier this year Ben Beaden/Australia Zoos

Big cat nips zoo handler on World Tiger Day

AUSTRALIA Zoo has assured the public its tiger trainers are all "fine" after the third big-cat attack in 10 months.

Mark Turner was bitten on the leg and taken to hospital yesterday afternoon after an incident during a routine caretaking activity.

In a statement, the Beerwah zoo said the incident happened out of public view while the trainer of 30 years was moving the animal from one location to another.

A 10-year-old male Sumatran tiger named Juma had "tagged" the keeper on the leg, leaving a tooth puncture wound.

"First aid protocol was followed, the same as Australia Zoo renders all staff, and the keeper is going to be fine. Juma the tiger is fine as well," an Australia Zoo representative said.

Queensland Ambulance Service confirmed paramedics were called about 11.45am and transported a 42-year-old man to Nambour General Hospital in a stable condition.

Juma is one of Australia Zoo's three Sumatran tiger triplets born at Mogo Zoo, New South Wales.

Juma is described on the Beerwah zoo's website as having a "very laidback personality".

The incident, on World Tiger Day, came less than a year after another handler, Dave Styles, had his neck mauled by Bengal tiger Charlie during a show.

Mr Styles has only recently returned back to the tiger enclosure after several months off work. In a much more minor incident, a handler was knocked to the ground after Mr Styles' attack.



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