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Bengal Tiger Bites Young Worker at Virginia Zoo

Animals  (tags: virginia, zoolife, wild animals, wildlife, big cats, bengal tiger, bite, humans, habitat, endangered, extinction, sadness, protection )

- 3495 days ago -
LURAY, Va. -- A 16-year-old employee of a small Virginia zoo is recovering after a tiger bit her when she tried to pet it. Zoo owner Jennifer Westhoff says the girl lost her pinky and had cuts on her hand. She was showing a 5-year-old Bengal tiger name

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Patricia M (2)
Friday November 21, 2008, 10:42 am
I'm sorry the girl lost a finger, but it could've been much worse. In the last 2 weeks zookeepers have been killed by tigers in Singapore and Mexico, plus that poor volunteer killed by a liger in Oklahoma recently. This zoo's owners sound well-intentioned, but you have to wonder about them. The zoo isn't accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and their website ( shows someone kissing a tiger through the cage wire, posing with a lynx, holding a wallaby (kangaroo?), etc. Allowing anyone to interact with animals like that sounds like an accident waiting to happen. The good thing is, it sounds as if the tiger won't be put down and the girl could easily have been injured much more severely than she was.

Lars K (222)
Friday November 21, 2008, 2:29 pm
Hi Patricia,

What do you mean "but you have to wonder about the owners of the zoo" ?

First, this is a zoo with a real mission - to rescue animals. You need to realize this involves physical contact with the animals, and that it is a great blessing for both, generally speaking.

You are apparently one of the too many who believe all animals are dangerous, but the only risky picture on the zoo's website is the one of the man kissing the tiger thru the fence.

But relation between people and animals are often very personal - a particular animal
may trust only one or a few persons as friends, and stay indifferent, suspicious or hostile to all others.
The man kissing the tiger may be its personal friend. In that case, the only controversial aspect is posting the picture on the zoo's website, making some people think they could do the same and get away with it.

But I bet there are on site signs warning visitors to get too close to the tiger fence.


Mary Keane (0)
Monday January 30, 2012, 8:28 am
This tiger should be released. It does not belong in the inadequate space provided, and it is alone and isolated. FREE STAR
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