Skip to comments.Tiger Attacks 14-Year Old Boy, Handler At Fair
Posted on 11/22/2004 7:26:09 PM PST by stainlessbanner
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A 14-year old boy and a tiger handler are recovering after being attacked by a 350-pound Siberian tiger at a county fair in Florida.
The owner of a big cat wildlife sanctuary was injured when it attacked him after it was startled by the boy, officials said Sunday.
St. Johns County Sheriff's deputies had to shoot the animal twice with stun guns to get the animal to release Curt LoGiudice, who had jumped in between the tiger and the boy late Saturday night.
LoGiudice, who had been displaying the tigers at the St. Johns County Fair, was walking the animal back to a cage in his truck at about 10:30 p.m. to bring them back to his Jacksonville sanctuary, The Catty Shack Ranch.
While the animal was being moved, the boy walked up to the tiger and "made a sudden move," according to the incident report written by Deputy Jerry Montague.
The tiger knocked both LoGiudice and the boy, whose name has not been released, to the ground and was biting and clawing at them, according to the report.
"The handler was attentive enough that he got in between the boy and the tiger," said Sgt. Chuck Mulligan.
Montague wrote in the report that he felt he could not safely fire a clear shot with his firearm, so he shot his taser into the right side of the animal.
"The tiger was out of control and I was afraid that one of the people were going to be killed," he wrote.
Mulligan said that the tiger broke the wires that were deployed from the first stun gun and attacked LoGiudice again, leading a second deputy to fire again.
The boy was able to get away and did not suffer any injuries, Mulligan said.
LoGiudice continued to hold on to the tiger by its leash and was able to calm it down and secure it in its cage.
He suffered a puncture wound on his left eye lid and behind his left ear, according to the incident report. He drove the animals back to Jacksonville and secured them before taking himself to the hospital, Mulligan said.
Mulligan said he did not know how many animals from the ranch were at the fair.
A message left at The Catty Shack Ranch, which was listed as LoGiudice's home number on the incident report, was continuously not returned Sunday.
Mulligan said he didn't know what the boy did that caused the tiger to attack, or why he was able to get so close to the animal.
No charges have been filed and the sheriff's office and the fish and wildlife commission were investigating the incident.
Note to self: Jumping toward a tiger yelling "boogie-boogie" is only painless in Calvin and Hobbes cartoons...
Where were you when duty called?
I think I've been playing too much golf lately; I actually saw the headline and thought, "Why on earth would Tiger Woods attack a boy?!?" /me Duh.