An experienced worker was seriously injured at the Garold Wayne Intractive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, Ok after sticking her hand inside a tiger cage yesterday.
According to the zoo’s owner, Joe Schreibvogel, he unidentified woman was “wearing a large goose down jacket which got bunched up inside the cage wire, preventing her from getting her hand out before the big cat latched onto her and pulled her left arm through a 4” square hole.
The injured woman, said to be in her 20’s, was airlifted to Oklahoma University Medical Center for surgery, where doctors are trying to save her arm. At present she hopes to be able to return to work once she has recovered.
In the meantime, it was announced that the tiger would not be euthanized, although it has been placed in quarantine. In addition Jim Mullet, under sheriff of Garvin County, Oklahoma, said the zoo would be closed while his department and Oklahoma Wildlife Department investigate the incident.
The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park was founded in 1997 by Francis and Shirley Schreibvogel of Springer, Oklahoma, who named it in memory of their son, who was killed by a drunk driver outside Dallas, Texas earlier that year. According to the zoo’s website, “Garold “G.W.” Schreibvogel loved all animals and life. His dream was to go to a jungle to see all the magnificent animals running wild and free.”
The facility, which is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture also states that its aim. “Is to provide homes for abandoned, misplaced and abused animals, as well as those animals whose owners can no longer care for them."
To date, the facility has “rescued more than 1,400 animals and placed more than 1,200 in zoos and sanctuaries around the world.”