Zookeeper dies due to workplace injuries suffered in tiger attack

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2016 | Workplace Injuries

There are many dangerous jobs in California that put a person’s life in danger. For example, those who work in zoos with potentially dangerous animals likely have several safeguards and procedures that they follow to ensure their safety. Unfortunately, a 38-year-old zookeeper was recently killed as a result of workplace injuries she suffered as she tended a rare Malayan tiger at an out-of-state zoo.

Reports indicate that the attack occurred in April. The incident took place in what is called the “night house” — an enclosure located behind the area seen by the public where the tigers eat and sleep. Unfortunately, authorities were unable to access the woman until the tranquilizer used on the tiger following the attack went into effect.

The woman’s death is now under investigation by several different organizations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The incident was the only fatality to occur at the zoo in the 60 years it has been open. However, one group, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is demanding that the zoo be fined, claiming that allowing employees to work closely with dangerous animals such as tigers places humans at risk and also results in the deaths of the animals.

While the investigations into the incident can help determine the cause of the attack, the family of the deceased woman is likely still struggling to accept the news of her death. Many families who lose a loved one in such an unexpected manner are often left facing a precarious financial situation in addition to their grief as a result of lost wages and funeral expenses. While those in California who lose a loved one as a result of workplace injuries are likely entitled to workers’ compensation insurance benefits, the assistance of a professional with experience with the process can help those grieving seek adequate compensation.

Source: ABC News, “Zookeeper Mourned a Day After Being Fatally Injured by Tiger”, Sergio Bustus, April 16, 2016

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