Zookeeper hospitalized after tiger attack at Topeka Zoo

The zookeeper suffered lacerations and puncture wounds after she was mauled by a Sumatran tiger Saturday morning.
2:36 | 04/20/19

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Transcript for Zookeeper hospitalized after tiger attack at Topeka Zoo
I'm Tom llamas, and we begin tonight with the breaking news. The horrifying incident at the Topeka zoo in Kansas. shortly after the facility opened today as horrified zoo visitors watched. That 7-year-old big cat, you see him there, named sanjiv was seen here back in 2017 when he was first welcomed to the Kansas today, attacking that female zookeeper. The primary tiger handler there with many years on the job, she has been rushed to the hospital after the tiger tackled her. ABC's Maggie Rulli starts us off. Reporter: Tonight, a tiger attack at the Topeka zoo leaving staff scrambling to save one of their own. We have sff getting attacked by a tiger. Reporter: That frightening 911 call coming in shortly after the zoo opened at 9:00. Sanjiv, an endangered sumatran tiger and his experienced keeper together in an outdoor pen when the animal turned. The two, trapped for nearly ten agonizing minutes. Advised staff is still in the enclosure. The tiger is still next to them, still attacking. Reporter: The exhibit, already open to visitors, put on lockdown with the zoo's firearm response team dispatched to the scene. Some of our guests actually witnessed this happen. Reporter: The tiger finally lured back inside, and that female zookeeper rushed to a local hospital, suffering lacerations and puncture wounds to the back of her head, neck and arm. Thanks to about three heroes on our staff, this could have been a very different outcome. Reporter: A livestream camera shows the zoo's tigers in a pen after the attack, as authorities investigate why the keeper and tiger were in the enclosure at the same time. There really isn't a circumstance where they should be in the same space. So there was some sort of error that occurred there. Reporter: For now, the zoo is standing by their animal, a fixture for years who recently fathered four cubs. Sanjiv this morning did exactly what a tiger would when something comes into its territory. There is absolutely no consideration to euthanize sanjiv. And Maggie Rulli joins us. We just heard there the zoo director says they are not going to euthanize the tiger, that the tiger did nothing wrong, and making it clear there were mistakes made that led up to this accident. Reporter: That's right, Tom. The zoo made it clear that the tiger reacted exactly the way that a wild animal would react, and instead of blaming the tiger, they're now focusing their investigation on procedures that could have gone wrong at that zoo. Tom? Maggie Rulli starting us off. Maggie, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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