Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin (pictured) was killed in an accident involving a stingray in 2006 Getty

A handler working in a tiger enclosure at Steve Irwin's family's zoo in Queensland had to be taken to hospital after he was mauled in the face and arm by a Sumatran tiger called Ranu.

The 35-year-old zookeeper, who has not been identified, was taken to hospital in an ambulance from Australia Zoo in Brisbane. The animal enclosure is owned by the family of the late TV wildlife expert, nicknamed Crocodile Hunter, who was killed in an accident by a stingray in 2006.

His wife Terri, who appeared in many of the conservationist's television programmes, continues to run the zoo and wrote on Twitter: "Hot day. One of our tigers got hot and bothered and scratched a keeper. Keeper is ok, tiger is ok."

In a statement, the Brisbane zoo explained the handler was swiped by a 12-year-old male Sumatran tiger. The attacked resulted in a scratch on his left wrist, bicep and right side of the forehead, the statement added.

The handler was discharged from the hospital later in the day of the mauling on the 21 January.

Dave Styles, a 30-year-old tiger handler, at Irwin's zoo was hospitalised in far more serious circumstances in 2013 when a tiger he had fostered since it was a cub, attacked him during a tiger show at Australia Zoo on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. The tiger bit Styles' neck and shoulder. He was flown to hospital with two large puncture wounds. The handler was in serious but stable condition upon arrival at the hospital.