In Phoenix, a Bengal tiger attacked the founder of Keepers of the Wild during a heavy rain and lightning storm. According to a press release issued by the northwestern Arizona animal sanctuary, Bowie the tiger pushed a gate open and attacked.
Jonathan Kraft, the founder of the sanctuary stated Bowie will not be euthanized.
“The accident occurred during a Flash Flood Warning period of heavy rain, lightning, thunder and hail. Jonathan was concerned for the welfare of several large cats in his approximate area including the tiger and took unilateral action to allow them access to protection from the elements. During that process, a safety protocol had obviously failed resulting in the incident.”
Kraft has taken the blame and suffers from two broken bones as well as lacerations and deep wounds. The sanctuary said that Bowie who had been declawed when very young, used his teeth to hold Kraft until staff were able to separate the two. The tiger can’t be blamed, and his previous life had been one of suffering and abuse.
“Bowie arrived at Keepers of the Wild in September 2018. He was one of three big cats that were previously owned as pets. Upon arrival at the Valentine wildlife sanctuary Bowie was released into a large habitat. The eleven-year-old tiger had been declawed as a young cub and the procedure resulted in causing progressive lameness to both front feet. Bowie is often observed gingerly limping as he enjoys his new home. Keepers of the Wild’s veterinarian has been monitoring Bowie’s discomfort and regularly evaluates pain control prescriptions to help ease his condition.
To further ease his condition, Bowie had been relocated to a new habitat more appropriate for his condition five days prior to the accident and adapted to his new environment very quickly. Though we do not suspect this had anything to do with the incident it is part of our ongoing internal investigation.”
Bowie was not injured during the accident. Kraft will be recovering for several months.
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