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Toowoomba teen 'shocked' by terrifying tiger attack

A TOOWOOMBA teen has described the wild scenes at Australia Zoo on Tuesday when a tiger attacked trainer Dave Styles.

Jasmine Waller, of South Toowoomba, was at the zoo when the incident occurred and said there was chaos around the wildlife park as police, emergency services and news crews descended on the scene.

"It was a real shock," Ms Waller said.

"There were police and emergency services racing through the crowd trying to get to the tiger enclosure.

Australia Zoo tiger handler Dave Styles. This is his profile picture on the Australia Zoo website.
Australia Zoo tiger handler Dave Styles. This is his profile picture on the Australia Zoo website.

"My boyfriend and I didn't know what was going on."

The attack has resulted in animal rights group PETA going on the offensive against Australia Zoo claiming it failed to follow "standard industry practice" for its handling of its tigers.

In a letter sent to The Chronicle from PETA special project coordinator Des Bellamy, the organisation said Australia Zoo was fully responsible.

"Fault in the recent tiger attack at the Australia Zoo falls squarely on the zoo itself," Mr Bellamy said.

An Australia Zoo tiger handler is attacked. Image: Seven News
An Australia Zoo tiger handler is attacked. Image: Seven News

"Using tigers as entertainment props undermines how seriously endangered they are, and allowing close contact puts zoo employees at risk."

While PETA has asked people to boycott Australia Zoo, Ms Waller, 19, said the attack would not stop her from making a return visit.

"It was an unfortunate situation and but it doesn't turn me off from going back again," she said.

RELATED: Tiger handler 'dressed like toy'

Topics:  australia zoo tiger toowoomba



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