A young Bengal tiger mauled a three-year-old girl after breaking free from its handlers at a zoo in East Java, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday, leaving the toddler with head injuries that required surgery.
The 10-month-old male tiger, called Ony, attacked Angelica Rosa while it was being transferred between enclosures at Taman Safari Prigen zoo on Monday morning, park spokeswoman Tisa Ananda said.
“Two keepers were walking the tiger on a leash to an exercise area when all of a sudden he ran very fast and attacked the girl,” Ananda said.
“It seems that the tiger, who is only 10 months old, was excited to see the girl and wanted to play with her.”
Although still only a cub, Ony was strong enough to knock over one of the trainers and drag the other as it lunged at the girl, who was visiting the park with her parents.
“One of the two keepers fell while the other eventually stopped the tiger,” Ananda said.
The girl was rushed to hospital and was in a stable condition after undergoing surgery for head injuries, doctors said.