WYNNEWOOK, OK (KFOR/CNN) - A terrifying scene at an Oklahoma zoo this weekend - a tiger attacked an employee, biting her arm.
"You just can never be ready for someone to lose an arm. You know," said Joe Schreibvogel, owner of G.W. Interactive Zoological Park.
An emotional time for everyone at G.W. Animal Park, people are still shaken by the terrifying accident between one of their tigers and a worker.
Schreibvogel, says his employee violated strict safety protocol - and stuck her hand inside tiger number seven's cage - a 14-year-old tiger, weighing well over 500 pounds.
"And her jacket got stuck in the wire, and the tiger beat her to the side of the cage and grabbed her arm and pulled her arm through a 4-inch hole," Schreilbvogel said.
Schreibvogel tied a tourniquet around the gushing wound and cared for the woman until park medics arrived. He says she was awake for the whole ordeal - from the time the tiger bit her arm off, until she was air lifted to OU Medical Center for emergency surgery.
"It's an unfortunate accident. My heart goes out to her that one of my tigers did this," Schreilbvogel said. "But she assured me in the helicopter that she was going to come back to work."
Schreibvogel also says the woman kept apologizing to him, and insisted the accident was her fault.
Staff members say tiger number seven has never shown any aggression or hurt anyone else in the past - and they've never even had an injury at the park - until now.
Local news station KFOR reports the zoo employee she is expected to undergo surgery again on Monday so doctors can clean her wounds.
The station reports the tiger will not be put down since the attack was the result of a safety violation.
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