Zoo handler savaged by a tiger as horrified spectators watched had ‘excited’ the animal to put on a better show, inquiry finds
In Nov 2013, David Styles was attacked by a big cat at Australia Zoo. The zookeeper changed his get-up to look more interesting and present a better show for the audience, according to an investigation. The tiger sank his jaws into the neck and throat of Mr. Styles causing life-threatening injuries
The zoo handler had rest for several weeks to recover. At Australia Zoo, a tiger handler was almost mauled to death when he triggered the emotions of the animal on purpose, says the investigation report.
The 120kg tiger named Charlie almost killed David Styles during a public show at the Queensland zoo in 2013. According to the Courier Mail’s Workplace Health and Safety report, Mr. Styles put on a different outfit to appear more interesting to the big cat and put on a great show for the audience.
As a result of the attack, Styles suffered a lot of injuries, such as nerve damage, left larynx paralysis, nicked jugular, and an injured carotid artery. These injuries could have killed him. Mr. Styles made the mistake of exciting the big cat. In reaction, Charlie got too excited and behaved differently, says the report.
The handler put on a blue blanket over his brown work outfit and wore surgical shoes as gloves to appear different to the tiger. This attempt stimulated the big cat to find out more about this new “personality”, revealed the report. The 120kg big cat stood up on his rear legs and put his paws on Styles’ shoulders.
Although tigers usually behave like this with their handlers, this time it was quite different. When the tiger put his paws on David’s shoulders, he lost his balance and fell into the pool. As soon as he got out of the pool, the tiger bit him on his neck and throat.
According to Styles, the tiger got too excited when he fell into the pool. If he had not fallen into the pool, the incident wouldn’t have happened. In reply to a question, Styles clarified that he didn’t intend to take better footage for the new giant BBC when he was attacked by the big cat.