Tiger kills handler in Shanghai zoo

Sunday, March 7, 2010

File photo of a Bengal tiger in 2003
Image: John and Karen Hollingsworth.

A trainer at the Shanghai Zoo was bitten by a tiger and later died Saturday morning. Reports say that the handler was found in a critical condition inside of the tiger's cage early Saturday.

The handler, 53-year-old Li Zhonglin, was cleaning the tiger's cage, and at 08:30 local time (0030 UTC) he was suddenly attacked. Xinmin Evening News reports that witnesses saw the tiger pounce on Li and then gnaw his neck. At around 08:40 local time (0040 UTC) veterinarians arrived at the scene and subdued the tiger. One witness said that "Zoo staff said that the tiger didn't have anything to eat the whole day yesterday, it must have been starving."

The 10-year-old Bengal tiger has since been isolated. There are no reports of any previous incidents with this specific tiger.