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A worker at late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's zoo in Australia is in serious condition at a Brisbane hospital after he was mauled by a tiger.
Dave Styles, a 30-year-old tiger handler, was attacked by an animal he had fostered since it was a cub, during a tiger show at Australia Zoo on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Australia Zoo tweeted:
One of our senior tiger handlers was bitten during a demo. He is stable and recovering in hospital. Our support is with him and his family.
— Australia Zoo (@AustraliaZoo) November 26, 2013
The tiger involved in the incident with senior handler Dave Styles will continue to be cared for at Australia Zoo. — Australia Zoo (@AustraliaZoo) November 26, 2013
The zoo, which was started by Irwin, an Australian wildlife expert who starred in the famous documentary series The Crocodile Hunter, said Styles was recovering from surgery at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
Styles, a senior tiger handler with nine years' experience, was attacked by one of the wildlife park's Sumatran tigers as it got ''overexcited'' during a play session in front of the public, Australia Zoo director Wes Mannion said.
The tiger bit Styles' neck and shoulder and the man was flown to hospital with two large puncture wounds. The handler was in serious but stable condition upon arrival at the hospital.
Amateur footage obtained by Channel 7 News shows Styles being dragged away by colleagues who try to shelter him from the tiger.
"At the time of the incident, our emergency response team were on the scene immediately. They acted professionally and calmly. My hat goes off to them," Mannion said.
The zoo, which hosts three Bengal and eight Sumatran tigers, said it was investigating the incident.