Wildlife activist injured by two tigers at Southern California sanctuary

Patty Perry is expected to survive head cuts and puncture wounds to her neck.
Patty Perry founded the Wildlife Environmental Conservation Inc. sanctuary in Moorpark.
Patty Perry founded the Wildlife Environmental Conservation Inc. sanctuary in Moorpark.via NBC Los Angeles

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By David K. Li and Associated Press

A wildlife activist survived a scary tussle between two tigers, roughhousing in front of an invited audience over the weekend in Southern California, officials said.

Patty Perry suffered head cuts and puncture wounds on her neck at the Wildlife Environmental Conservation Inc. sanctuary in Moorpark, about 50 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, authorities said.

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The incident unfolded Saturday in front of donors and supporters of the group, and Ventura County Fire Department first responders, who rushed to Perry's assistance.

"They were playing and it was an accident," said Michael Bradbury, a friend of Perry's and attorney for the Wildlife Environmental Conservation.

Perry regularly enters the tigers' cage, according to Bradbury.

"There's a lot of mutual love there," Bradbury said. "They're a huge part of her life."

Perry was rushed to the emergency room of Los Robles Health System in nearby Thousand Oaks and is expected to survive.

Bradbury called Perry a “worldwide expert on animal rehabilitation" and that no incident like this has happened before. The Moorpark group said it has about 50 animals including tigers, zebras, leopards and birds of prey.