Topeka Zoo identifies keeper injured in tiger attack

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Kristyn Hayden-Ortega 2_1556033746632.jpg-846624083.jpg

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Zoo has identified the keeper a tiger seriously injured over Easter weekend.

Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said Tuesday at a 9 a.m. press conference that Kristyn Hayden-Ortega remains at a local hospital. The zoo’s male Sumatran tiger, Sanjiv, attacked Hayden-Ortega inside the tiger’s enclosure Saturday morning.

The press conference starts at 4:23 in the video below:

Hayden-Ortega has worked for the Topeka Zoo for nearly 18 years. City spokeswoman Molly Hadfield said it is uncertain when she’ll leave the hospital, but a full recovery is expected.

Wiley said the zoo is investigating how the two were inside the enclosure at the same time. They were confident in the enclosure’s security when they put the tigers back inside the same day as the attack, but need to hear from Hayden-Ortega to confirm what led to the attack.

He previously said Sanjiv was following instinct when something was in his territory, and there are no plans to euthanize the critically endangered tiger.

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