Australia Zoo tiger punctures handler’s throat

In Australian Cultural Exports, Australian Domestic Tourism, National Headlines, Queensland
 From AdelaideNow, 27th November 2013

Witnesses tell of shocking moment trainer Dave Styles mauled by tiger at Australia Zoo

THE tiger that attacked an experienced cat handler at Australia Zoo on Tuesday had been raised by him since it was a cub.

Shocked witnesses told of seeing Dave Styles grabbed and dragged into the pool inside the tiger enclosure just after the daily show while he was apparently wrestling with the animal.

During the attack Mr Styles – who has worked with big cats since 2005 – was bitten on the neck while in the water, suffering several puncture wounds near vital blood vessels and significant blood loss.

Australia Zoo tiger handler Dave Styles is in hospital after being mauled by a tiger

Last night he was in Royal Brisbane Hospital in a stable condition after being flown from the Sunshine Coast by the RACQ CareFlight rescue helicopter.

Witness Carly Fritsch, of the Gold Coast, said the cat seemed to being trying to keep the man in the water after its initial grab at him.

Trainer mauled by tiger at Australia Zoo 0:11

A man was bitten in the neck by a resident tiger at Australia Zoo. Courtesy: Ten Eyewitness News

“(The trainer) was wrestling with one of the tigers and it suddenly grabbed his shoulders and lunged at his neck,” she said, adding other zoo workers quickly came to the rescue.

Witness Jake D’Olimpio, 14, from Perth said perhaps four other workers physically fought to separate the pair in the water.

Still from Jake D'Olimpio's camera showing Australia Zoo tiger ...

Still from Jake D’Olimpio’s camera showing Australia Zoo tiger attack.

“One of them was hitting it with a stick,” Jake said.

Ms Fritsch said when the injured trainer stood back up “you could see he had been pierced”

Still from Jake D'Olimpio's camera showing Australia Zoo tiger...

Still from Jake D’Olimpio’s camera showing Australia Zoo tiger attack

About half the crowd from the scheduled tiger show had lingered after its end to watch some more action as trainers played with the big cats – an event which was being filmed for the BBC.

RACQ CareFlight Rescue doctor Andy Haggerty said: “The gentleman was obviously a seriously ill man.”

Still from Jake D'Olimpio's camera showing Australia Zoo tiger...

Still from Jake D’Olimpio’s camera showing Australia Zoo tiger attack

Director of Australia Zoo Wes Mannion said the senior tiger handler had raised the male tiger since it arrived at Australia Zoo as a cub.

Australia Zoo would not reveal which tiger was responsible.

Still from Jake D'Olimpio's camera showing Australia Zoo tiger...

Still from Jake D’Olimpio’s camera showing Australia Zoo tiger attack

The Zoo’s website says it keeps three Bengals and eight Sumatrans.

“Our priority is the well-being of the handler, who is a valued member of our Australia Zoo family,” Mr Mannion said.

Still from Jake D'Olimpio's camera showing Australia Zoo tiger...

Still from Jake D’Olimpio’s camera showing Australia Zoo tiger attack

“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”.

Mr Styles has been working with tigers since 2005 after making the switch from marine mammals.

Jake D'Olimpio used his phone to catch the shocking moment a tiger attacked a trainer at Australia Zoo. Picture: Glenn Barnes

Jake D’Olimpio used his phone to catch the shocking moment a tiger attacked a trainer at Australia Zoo. Picture: Glenn Barnes

You may also read!

Niche on low overhead still reads success

Couple's passion project turns shed full of second-hand books into thriving readers hub Published: ABC Mid West & Wheatbelt 19th

Read More...

Spirit of Tasmania migrates ports

Spirit of Tasmania to move Victorian operations from Port Melbourne to Geelong Published: ABC News 23 April 2020 By Lucy

Read More...

Cafe manager blames ‘locals’ preference for whites

Bondi cafe manager sacked after black barista was fired because 'locals are a bit racist' Published: ABC News 25th June

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu