Posted: Oct 05, 2013 12:57 PM CST Updated: Oct 05, 2013 2:51 PM CST
Deputies believe she lost her arm. But she is said to be in stable condition.
Garvin County Undersheriff said “this is a rare incident for the park.”
The owner of the park said the employee violated safety protocol by placing her arm inside the tiger cage. He said the tiger will not be put down.
Authorities have not identified the employee at this time.
The G.W. Zoo released the following statement on its Facebook page,
“On 10/5/2013 at aprox. 10 a.m. a female worker violated safety protocol and placed her hand inside a adult male tiger cage. She was wearing a large goose down jacket which got bunched up inside the cage wire not allowing her to get her hand back outside the cage wire fast enough and the tiger grabbed her hand pulling her left arm through a 4 inch square hole.
The staff responded as trained to a medical emergency and park medics were on the scene within 2 minutes and gave emergency medical attention to the staff member. Parks emergency protocol was activated and put into place which including calling a ground ambulance and activating air evac medical helicopter.
She was transferred from the parks stretcher to the ambulance and transported to Pauls Valley Hospital helipad as the nearest air evac had to respond from Duncan, Oklahoma.
From there she was air lifted to OU Medical Center where she is in surgery and stable.
This was an employee error of violating the safety protocols of placing any part of the body inside a cage. The tiger will not be put down and our thoughts and prayers are with the member of our staff that was injured.
During the entire event she was awake and saying it was her fault and plans to return to work.
Her family has not been notified so her name will not be released.”