Zoo investigates animal handling after tiger attacks worker

Zoo investigates animal handling after tiger attacks worker
FILE - This November 2018 file photo shows Sanjiv, a Sumatran tiger at the Topeka Zoo in Topeka, Kansas. Officials are investigating animal handling protocols after Sanjiv attacked and seriously injured a Kansas zookeeper as she was cleaning the animal's enclosure.April 20, 2019, at the zoo. Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley said during a news conference Tuesday, April, 23, 2019 problems with the enclosure aren't to blame for Saturday's attack of 40-year-old Kristyn Hayden-Ortega. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials are investigating animal handling protocols after a Sumatran tiger attacked and seriously injured a Kansas zookeeper as she was cleaning the animal’s enclosure.

Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley says problems with the enclosure aren’t to blame for Saturday’s attack of 40-year-old Kristyn Hayden-Ortega. He says she continues to improve at a hospital after she was moved Sunday out of intensive care.

Wiley says the 7-year-old male tiger named Sanjiv was merely reacting to Hayden-Ortega being in his enclosure when he tackled her as several visitors watched. The tiger then was lured away so she could receive help. Wiley says he hasn’t yet spoken to Hayden-Ortega about what happened. She has worked at the zoo since 2002.

The zoo has no plans to euthanize Sanjiv, who is back on display.