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Attacks by Captive Tigers

Updated on June 12, 2018

Tigers in captivity can become somewhat tame. However, as a non-domesticated, large and predatory animals--things do go wrong, including a number of prominent fatal attacks across the years (and centuries). It has been suggested that the partially unregulated ownership of tigers in the United States is a serious public safety problem.

Fatal Tiger Attacks Occurring in Captivity

  • 2015: A tiger called Oz fatally attacked a senior keeper at Hamilton Zoo (New Zealand).
  • 2012: A tiger escaped into a storage area and fatally attacked a keeper at Cologne zoo (Germany).

  • 2010: Norman Buwalda of Ontario, Canada was killed by his own tiger after entering its cage.
  • 2009:Dalu Mncube was killed while cleaning the enclosure of a white tiger at the Zion Wildlife Gardens (Whangarei, New Zealand).
  • 2009: Guo was killed after accidentally jumping into a wildlife park adjoining the great Wall of China.
  • 2008: Nordin bin Montong was killed by tigers at the Singapore Zoo. It is unclear whether the as carrying out normal cleaning activities as a zoo worker, or had gone into the enclosure when acting erratically.
  • 2007: Carlos Sousa is killed by a tiger (Tatiana again) that escaped from her enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo.
  • 2006: Keeper Lori Komejan is mauled by tiger Tatiana in the San Francisco Zoo and later won a settlement against the zoo.

Titiana | Source
  • 2006: Cynthia Lee Gamble (Minnesota, United States) was killed by her own tiger when a door between the enclosure and holding area was left open.
  • 2005: Haley R. Hilderbrand was killed by a tiger while posing for a photograph at the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary (Kansas, United States).
  • 2003:Roy Horn of " Siegfried & Roy" a famous Las Vegas act that included a number of tigers was seriously mauled during a show.

One of Siegfried and Roys' white tigers
One of Siegfried and Roys' white tigers | Source

  • 1983: Jason Studebaker (2 years old) was killed by a tiger belonging to his father.
  • 1947:Raymond Watson reached into a tiger cage to touch a cub while visiting a Ringling Brothers circus and his arm was mauled by a tiger.

In bloom of Life she's snatchd from hence

She had not room to make defence

For Tyger fierce took life away

And here she lies in bed of Clay

Until the Resurrection Day.

In the Wild

Tigers are one of the few species that still regularly predates on humans in the wild.


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    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 

      7 years ago from New York

      A resourceful hub that shows that captive tiger attacks rarely occur. I usually only pay attention to domestic statistics but the numbers are even low worldwide, even if you are leaving some out. Tigers in the wild normally do not prey on humans but do so when they are injured and unable to hunt their natural more resilient prey.

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Collins 

      7 years ago from United States

      There was a situation here a couple years ago that changed the face of exotic pet ownership in the state I live. We used to be able to have any exotic animal as a pet. Then a very depressed man freed all of his animals just before committing suicide. None of the animals, including the tigers attacked anyone, but lawmakers used that situation to push their legislation. They obviously do not want anymore press about tiger, or other wild animal attacks here.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I stumbled upon your hub and it caught my attention because of the news about the lion that attacked and killed a female intern at the Cat Haven in Fresno County yesterday - March 06, 2013. I didn't realize that there are so many attacks by lions and tigers in zoos. I found your hub very interesting.


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