A tiger attacked three workers at a safari park in a prefecture north of Tokyo on Wednesday, with all the three hospitalized, the Japanese police and park operator said, APA reports citing Xinhua.
According to the authorities, the 10-year-old male Bengal tiger, which is 3 meters long and weighs 150 kg, bit at least one keeper, who was transported by medical helicopter. All workers were conscious at the time of hospitalization.
The accident occurred at Nasu Safari Park in Tochigi Prefecture at around 8:30 a.m. local time, when the workers were preparing for the day's service, the operator said. The keepers, all in their 20s, were trying to release the animal from its inner-cage to an outside enclosure by opening doors.
They usually avoid from being in the same space with the tiger, but on Wednesday one of the keepers apparently entered the cage due to a problem with part of the doors, the operator said.
Following the accident, the park decided to close for the day.
The park houses about 700 animals of 70 species including elephants and giraffes, offering special bus tours and providing services for customers who drive their own cars.
Similar accidents occurred in 1997 and 2000, involving keepers being attacked by lions at the park.