Tiger handler has surgery after attack

6:31am November 27, 2013
November 27, 2013: New vision has emerged of a senior trainer at the Australia Zoo being mauled by a tiger.

Australia Zoo handler Dave Styles is recovering in Royal Brisbane Hospital after undergoing surgery following a tiger attack.

The 30-year-old was bitten by a tiger on the neck and shoulder during a show at the Sunshine Coast zoo on Tuesday.

The Department of Community Safety said Mr Styles suffered two large puncture wounds and was flown to Brisbane in a serious but stable condition.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Australia Zoo curator Kelsey Engle said the handler was on the mend.

"Dave Styles is in a stable condition and continues to improve," Engle said.

"The tiger involved in the incident with senior handler Dave, will continue to be cared for at Australia Zoo."

November 26, 2013: An employee of Queensland’s Australia Zoo has been airlifted to hospital after he was reportedly mauled by a tiger.

Zoo director Wes Mennon said Mr Styles had nine years of experience with big cats and had raised the tiger since it arrived at the zoo as a cub.

"Our priority is the wellbeing of the handler, who is a valued member of our Australia Zoo family," Mr Mennon said.

"Our full support is with the handler and family."

Mr Mennon suggested Australia Zoo was conducting a full investigation in conjunction with workplace health and safety authorities.

"At the time of the incident, our emergency response team were on the scene immediately. They acted professionally and calmly. My hat goes off to them," he said in a statement.

The Australia Zoo keeps three Bengal and eight Sumatran tigers.

November 26, 2013: An Australia Zoo handler is in a serious but stable condition in Royal Brisbane Hospital after he was mauled by a tiger.

RACQ Careflight doctor Andrew Haggerty said the trainer was lucky his injuries weren't more serious.

"The neck is a very complex area and contains lots of serious structures including blood vessels, and perhaps most importantly the airway ... any bleeding in the area itself could cause significant complications," he told reporters on the Sunshine Coast.

© AAP 2014
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