Dave Styles, a senior tiger handler, has been identified as the man who got mauled by a tiger at the famous Australia Zoo, the home of the Crocodile Hunter.
Styles was attacked during a live show and was close to death. He was bitten by the tiger on the shoulder and the neck while a crowd of visitors looked on.
Styles is experienced with big cats as he has worked at the zoo for nine years, zoo officials said. He raised the tiger that bit him from a cub.
Video footage shows three other staff members jump into the scene and rescue Styles from the tiger. One crew member beats the tiger with a stick while the other two help Styles to his feet. Then they all run away.
Australia Zoo Director Wes Mannion said in a statement that the staff acted professionally.
“At the time of the incident, our emergency response team were on the scene immediately,” he said. “They acted professionally and calmly. My hat goes off to them.”
Dan, who was there, said via Twitter that he saw the attack.
” Things went from playful to violent instantly,” he said. “I hope that poor fella recovers quickly.”
The zoo said via Twitter that Styles was in stable condition and is recovering following surgery at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
The zoo is well-known for being started by Steve Irwin, who was known as the crocodile hunter. Irwin died after being attacked by an animal in 2006.
The Irwin family is still involved with the zoo.
The zoo has three Bengal Tigers and 8 Sumatran Tigers. Both species are considered critically endangered.