KALININGRAD, RUSSIA —A Russian zookeeper was saved from a horrific demise from a tiger attack, and it's all thanks to some quick thinking by zoo visitors.
BBC reports that the 16-year-old Siberian tiger's cage had been left open open, so when zookeeper Nadezhda Srivastava went into the enclosure to deliver food, the animal pounced.
The terrified zookeeper was pinned helplessly on the ground as the big cat clawed and gnawed at her for at least 10 minutes.
Onlookers began throwing rocks at the animal, but only made it angrier. It wasn't until some visitors hurled a table and chairs into the enclosure that the tiger got distracted, which allowed the zookeeper to flee to safety.
The 44-year-old zookeeper was immediately taken to the hospital, and is currently recovering from her wounds.
The tiger was later taken out with a sedative and brought back to its cage. Zoo staff say the animal has no history of being aggressive towards humans, and will not be put down.
The zoo has also blamed the attack on the zookeeper, claiming that the gruesome incident happened because she violated safety protocol.