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Zookeeper hospitalized after tiger attack at Topeka Zoo

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Zookeeper hospitalized after tiger attack at Topeka Zoo
Sanjiv, a male Sumatran tiger, at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas. -
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A zookeeper in Kansas has been hospitalized after an attack by a Sumatran tiger at the Topeka Zoo on Saturday.

The tiger, named Sanjiv, was in the same area as the keeper when the animal attacked, according to Molly Hadfield, a spokesperson for the City of Topeka.

Topeka Zoo
Sanjiv, a male Sumatran tiger, at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas.Topeka Zoo

The incident took place while the park was open to the public and "a few people" saw the attack happen, she said. The zoo shut down for around 45 minutes while employees handled the tiger and helped the injured zookeeper.

While the zoo did re-open and will remain open for the rest of the day, the tiger exhibit is closed until further notice, she said.

The Topeka Zoo has decided not to euthanize the tiger, noting that Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered and Sanjiv was a wild tiger doing what wild tigers do, according to Hadfield.

The injured keeper was "alert and awake" when she was transported by medical responders and is currently in stable condition at an area hospital, she said.

Sumatran tigers can weigh anywhere between 160 to 300 pounds, and only an estimated 400 are left in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund.