KINGMAN, AZ — The founder of a wildlife sanctuary in northern Arizona is recovering after being attacked by a tiger at the facility earlier this week.
According to Keepers of the Wild, the incident happened shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Monday during a heavy storm.
In a release, the organization says Executive Director Jonathan Kraft was attempting to transfer animals to a safer location when Bowie, a Bengal tiger, became agitated and pushed open a gate before it could be closed.
Bowie then latched onto Kraft and had to be separated by other workers. During the incident, Kraft suffered two broken bones as well as other wounds.
Keepers of the Wild say Bowie is resting at the habitat and will not be euthanized.
Jonathan Kraft released the following statement regarding the incident:
"There are many photographs showing me having close contact with a variety of animals when they were young or ones that I had raised. Those are from 'the old days'. Close contact with wild exotic and native species has not been a practice in many years. My accident with Bowie was my fault. I was concerned for his welfare and did not stay focused on him. It only takes a fraction of a second for a captive wild animal to revert to their instinctual behavior. These situations occur when there is human error."
According to their website, Keepers of the Wild is a non-profit animal sanctuary that provides a life-long home to rescue animals.
Bowie was brought to the sanctuary as a result of limited mobility in his front paws. When younger, a human who had Bowie as a pet and declawed him, causing the future lameness to his feet.
The sanctuary is located east of Kingman on Historic Route 66 at mile marker 87.