Man Gets Mauled By Tiger At Australian Zoo

| by Nicholas Roberts
Ranu, A Sumatran Tiger.Ranu, A Sumatran Tiger.

Australian paramedics rushed to a Queensland zoo on Jan. 21 after receiving reports that a zookeeper was wounded in a tiger attack.  

Che Woolcott, 41, had various puncture wounds and deep scratches to the head and arms after being attacked by a Sumatran tiger named Ranu, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

Woolcott said the incident: "Bit of a hot day. Ranu was a bit frustrated with the heat, he wanted to go one way, we wanted him to go the other. He let off a bit of steam and I got a few claw marks. These things happen working with tigers."

Terri Irwin, the widow of Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin and owner of Australia Zoo in which the incident occurred, tweeted shortly after the incident saying Ranu had become "hot and bothered" because of the summer heat, according to The Australian.

This is not the first time a large feline has attacked a handler at the zoo. ABC and The Australian report that in 2013, a Sumatran tiger mauled a handler when the cat become overexcited during a play session.

The zoo said Ranu will continue to work at the zoo, and confirmed that both Ranu and Woolcott were doing well.

Ranu is described as a "mischievous tiger" on the zoo's website, according to ABC.  His description reads: "Every tiger has their individual personality and the handlers learn how to adapt differently to each tiger. With Ranu, the handlers have to keep in mind that he is the boss and it is very important to be patient with him."

Sources:, The Australian / Photo credit: Australia Zoo via