CALGARY • A man who broke into the Calgary Zoo overnight was significantly injured when attacked by a tiger.
Zoo officials said that two men gained “unauthorized entry” to the zoo around 1 a.m. Monday and entered the tiger enclosure.
One of the men then scaled the safety fence surrounding the exhibit, approaching the exhibit’s inner fence.
Although he did not enter the animals’ enclosure, he came in contact with one of the tigers and sustained “significant injuries” to his arms, zoo officials said in a statement:
"At this point our information is that they went to the tiger enclosure and one of the men climbed over the outer perimeter safety fence and approached the exhibit fence. He did not enter the exhibit, but did come into contact with one of the tigers and sustained significant injuries to his arms."
Both men were taken by security personnel to a nearby office where the injured man received first aid treatment. He was taken to hospital for further treatment.
Calgary Police are still investigating. The men "may have been intoxicated," Detective Inspector Steve Ellefson said this morning.
"I think it is what it appears — a very bad choice," Det. Insp. Ellefson said.
One of the men suffered injuries so serious that me may lose his arm, according to police.
Male Siberian tigers, such as those housed at the Calgary Zoo, can weigh up to 300 kilograms. Females can weigh up to 167 kilograms.
These types of tigers are the largest cats in the world.
The zoo expects to hold a news conference this morning to provide further details.
The zoo lost Khasam, one of its Siberian tigers, to cancer in 2004.
In Ontario, a serious tiger encounter led to a court award of nearly $3-million for a couple that were mauled by a Siberian tiger at a game farm in 2006.
Canwest News Service, with files from Mary Vallis, National Post
Photo: Khasam, 15-year-old Sibertian tiger who was euthanized after a battle with cancer at the Calgary Zoo in 2004. The tiger had been at Calgary Zoo since 1991. Photo by Ted Jacob/CanWest News Service.
Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2009/10/05/tiger-attack-at-the-calgary-zoo.aspx#ixzz0T50Hyv74