Report: Doors were left unlocked before tiger attack at Topeka zoo

Topeka — A state report says that safety doors in a Sumatran tiger’s enclosure at a Kansas zoo were left unlocked before the animal attacked and injured a veteran zookeeper.

The report released Friday by the Kansas Department of Labor agreed with the Topeka Zoo’s assessment that no equipment failure or other problem with the enclosure led to the April 20 attack.

Zookeeper Kristyn Hayden-Ortega was hospitalized after suffering puncture wounds and lacerations to her head, neck and back.

Hayden-Ortega had gone into the outdoor area of the tiger’s enclosure to clean it. The animal was supposed to be in an indoor area, behind two doors. The report says the doors “had been locked in the open position.”

The report said the zoo is now requiring that two employees check the doors.

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