Tiger attacks employee at zoo in Russia's west

MOSCOW - A tiger at the zoo in Russia's westernmost region attacked one of the staff after she entered the enclosure in violation of safety regulations, zoo authorities said.

The Kaliningrad Zoo said in a statement Monday that the rare Amur tiger charged at the female employee. Visitors shouted at the tiger and threw tables and chairs in order to distract it, the zoo said.

Russia's Investigative Committee launched a probe but the zoo said the employee breached safety regulations.

Komsomolskaya Pravda ran a picture on its website showing the tiger lying on top on the woman, who appears to be screaming.

The 16-year old tiger, called Taifun, has never been aggressive, the zoo said, adding that it has no plans to euthanize the animal.

The city's top website, New Kaliningrad, quoted regional health minister Olga Voronina as saying that the employee had been hospitalized with multiple wounds and was in a serious but stable condition. The zoo said her life was not in danger.

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