Photo: Adam Zolkover (flickr)
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say if a feline rescue center violated federal animal safety standards, the federal department could revoke the center’s operating license.
The USDA is investigating the center where a female employee was bitten by a tiger last week after forgetting to close a sliding door separating the cage from the holding area.
The tiger escape and lunged at 21-year-old Marissa Dub.
She was airlifted to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis. He experienced some cuts and bone fractures but her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
The USDA, which issues permits for possession of exotic animals, says it is now investigating the facility to see if it violated the Animal Welfare Act. If violations are found, the center could face anything from a warning letter to fines to license suspension or revocation, the USDA said in a statement.
Exotic Feline Rescue Center Director Joe Taft says the investigation involves evaluating the safety and emergency procedures and determining precisely what mistakes were made.
“I think the people there sacrifice a lot of their time to care and make sure that it is properly fenced and taken care of and within the boundaries and laws and everything.”
Taft says the tiger will not be euthanized but will remain in its current enclosure.
“If there was an event in progress and we could not have gotten the tiger away, then we would have euthanized the tiger right then right there. There is no retrospective action in that regard.”