Arizona wildlife sanctuary director mauled by his own tiger

The owner said the accident was his fault and the tiger will not be euthanized.
Image: Bowie, an 11-year-old Bengal tiger at Keepers of the Wild sanctuary in Arizona.
Bowie, an 11-year-old Bengal tiger at Keepers of the Wild sanctuary in Arizona.Keepers of the Wild

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By Ben Kesslen

The executive director of an Arizona wildlife sanctuary was badly injured when he was attacked by one of his preserve’s Bengal tigers on Monday.

Jonathan Kraft, the Keepers of the Wild Nature Park founder and executive director, was injured by Bowie, an 11-year-old tiger who used to be a house pet.

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In a statement, the Northwest Arizona sanctuary explained that due to an unseasonably heavy thunderstorm, Kraft instructed his staff to move the cats so they could take shelter in the storm.

“During that process, a safety protocol had obviously failed resulting in the incident,” the sanctuary’s statement read.”

Kraft, a former Las Vegas illusionist, suffered multiple injuries and two broken bones.

"My accident with Bowie was my fault,” Kraft said in the statement “It only takes a fraction of a second for a captive wild animal to revert to their instinctual behavior. These situations occur when there is human error.”

Keepers of the Wild describe Bowie as a “usually docile” tiger.

“Bowie is fine and resting in his habitat and we will not euthanize him because of the accident,” the sanctuary said.