THE senior handler bitten on the neck and shoulder by one of Australia Zoo's tigers is now recovering following late night surgery.

Dave Styles was airlifted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital by the RACQ CareFlight Rescue Helicopter after being attacked at the Beerwah tourist attraction about 2.45pm on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in the middle of a show in front of a crowd of visitors.

It was said the tiger became over excited during a regular play session.

 >> CAREFLIGHT CREW SAY TIGER MAULING SCENE WAS "CHAOTIC" 

"Dave's in a stable condition and continues to improve," Australia Zoo curator Kelsey Engle said in a statement released online early this morning.

An Australia Zoo tiger handler is attacked. Image: Seven News
An Australia Zoo tiger handler is attacked. Image: Seven News

She also said that the tiger that bit Mr Styles would be cared for by the zoo.

Social media was last night rampant with fears that the tiger would be put down.

Mr Styles was a senior tiger handler and very experienced with big cats.

He's worked at the Zoo for nine years and has cared for the tiger that bit him since it was a cub.

An Australia Zoo tiger handler is attacked. Image: Seven News
An Australia Zoo tiger handler is attacked. Image: Seven News

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Ms Engle said the zoo's focus was to provide support to Mr Styles and his family at this time.

Zoo director Wes Mannion yesterday praised the quick actions of staff who came to the rescue of Mr Styles.

 

 

"Our priority is the wellbeing of the handler, who is a valued member of our Australia Zoo family," Australia Zoo Director Wes Mannion said.

"At the time of the incident, our emergency response team were on the scene immediately. They acted professionally and calmly. My hat goes off to them."

 

 

"Australia Zoo has rigorous safety procedures and is conducting a full investigation in conjunction with workplace health and safety authorities."

"Our full support is with the handler and family." Wes said. 

Paramedics rush to the aid of the tiger handler. Image: Nine News
Paramedics rush to the aid of the tiger handler. Image: Nine News

The RACQ CareFlight Rescue team described the incident as a "mauling".

CareFlight's critical care doctor and flight paramedic treated the man on the scene.

"The man's breathing is controlled and he is conscious," a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services media spokeswoman originally said.

 

 

 

 



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