Ask Australian Zoo to Implement Better Laws to Protect Trainers and Handlers

  • By: SUE LEE
  • Target: Australian Zoo Officials

Please sign and share this petition in an effort to ask the Australian Zoo to implement some stricter laws that will protect big cat handlers and trainers against injury and death. With the lax rules in place, the zoo disregards such animal attacks as a minor incident or attack, which is surely poor practice in protecting those dedicated to the animals.

Recently, an animal trainer who has been working with the big cats for more than 20 years was attacked by one of his regular cats by the name of Juma. This particular tiger is actually known as one of the more calm animals in the zoo but, none-the-less a wild, unpredictable creature. Trainer Turner was just walking from one area to another with Juma when the cat bit into his calf, leaving puncture wounds. Such an attack occurred on another handler just months earlier, being knocked down to the ground. Eight months prior, was attacked by a Bengal Tiger who mistook him for a toy because of the plastic suit he was wearing. The suit was a blue plastic poncho that resembled a blue plastic bag the tiger favored for mauling. This handler suffered puncture wounds to his neck and significant blood loss and was flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, where he spent 10 days in ¬intensive care.

After the attack on Mr. Turner, he and the tiger were described as "fine" by a spokesman from the Zoo. He stated that “The keeper received a tooth puncture wound on his leg. First aid protocol was followed, the same as Australia Zoo renders all staff, and the keeper is going to be fine. Juma the tiger is fine as well." The zoo refers to Juma as very laid back and frequently introduced to new handlers. However, there should be special laws and regulations in place to protect all handlers and trainers.

Despite how calm or "laid back" a wild cat can be, these massive animals are unpredictable and not used to human handling. They still deserve to be respected for the beautiful creature that they are. This zoo cannot just take these attacks so lightly and disregard them as a minor incident. Are they waiting for people to literally be killed? There are too many repeat offenses. Please sign and share this petition in an effort to ask the Australian Zoo to implement some stricter laws that will protect big cat handlers and trainers against injury and death. With the lax rules in place, the zoo disregards such animal attacks as a minor incident or attack, which is surely poor practice in protecting those dedicated to the animals.

Australian Zoo Officials - It is really sad that you have no laws and regulations in place to protect the trainers, handlers and other staff people in the zoo that have to care for the wildlife. Instead, when someone is attacked by a big cat, it is regarded as a minor incident that is tossed aside. Are you waiting for people to be killed before action is taken to protect them? As calm and sweet as one of these animals may appear, they still have wild unpredictable natures that could change in a flash when startled or agitated.

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