Sanctuary Founder After Tiger Attack: My Bad

Arizona's Jonathan Kraft has broken bones, but no ill will toward the animal
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2019 11:54 AM CDT
File photo of a bengal tiger.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

(Newser) – "My fault." That's what the founder of an Arizona wildlife sanctuary had to say Wednesday after surviving an attack by a Bengal tiger. Staff at Valentine's Keepers of the Wild Nature Park were moving big cats so they could take shelter from a severe thunderstorm Monday when a "usually docile" tiger named Bowie latched onto executive director Jonathan Kraft with its teeth, a sanctuary statement reads, per NBC News. Kraft had been shifting the gates on the animal's enclosure, and the tiger suddenly pushed against them before they had been secured by safety clips.

In cases of human error, "it only takes a fraction of a second for a captive wild animal to revert to their instinctual behavior," said Kraft, a former Las Vegas illusionist, who faces a months-long recovery following multiple injuries including two broken bones. He said 11-year-old Bowie, a former house pet who had its front claws removed as a cub, would not be euthanized as the accident came amid Kraft's own inattention. The sanctuary described the tiger as "fine" following the attack and said the public was never in danger. (Read more mauling stories.)

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