For staff members at the Topeka Zoo, they saw their worst fear come true after one of their tigers attacked a keeper Saturday morning.

“We have a very strong team,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley. “
We have a compassionate team. I think the thing on all of our minds is our teammate’s condition.”
The tiger involved in the attack is a seven-year-old male Sumatran tiger named Sanjiv, who recently fathered four tiger cubs. 

“Sanjiv this morning did exactly what a tiger would when something comes into its territory,” said Wiley.

Staff members quickly intervened and were able to lure Sanjiv away with food.

“Thanks to the three heroes on our staff, this could have been a very different outcome,” said Wiley.

For zoo employees, those 10 minutes of horror will be hard to forget.

“Definitely this will have shaken them up, but we’re here to support them and do anything we can to help them through this,” said Board Vice President for Friends of the Topeka Zoo Pat Colley.

Wiley said they’ve never had anything like this happen at the zoo, and he and his staff will be re-evaluating their policies and procedures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.