It was pure chance that Game Wardens from the Kansas Department of Wildlife were at the Topeka Zoo during Saturday’s tiger attack.
Two wardens were at the zoo as part of an Earthday celebration to explain what they do as part of their job, but they ended up showing what they do instead.
When Lynn Koch heard someone scream that a tiger was out, he quickly sprang into action to help any way he could. As soon as the tiger was secured, Koch began performing first aid on the injured zookeeper, Kristyn Hayden-Ortega. Koch said it was unlike anything he’s ever seen.
“It was one of those, is this really happening?” Koch said. “Seeing the zookeeper on the ground, is this something that is actually taking place? Something we never see in our job. It seemed like an eternity for the tiger to actually leave but it was only maybe a few minutes.”
Koch thanks the efforts made by the other zookeepers to get the tiger off their coworker.
Koch said he has not spoken to Hayden-Ortega since she’s been in the hospital.