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Woman dies after attack by tiger

By the Associated Press

Thursday, April 3, 2003

ADAIR, Okla. (AP) - A tiger attacked a handler at an animal park, severing her arm and causing a fatal loss of blood.

Lynda Brackett died Wednesday at a Tulsa hospital, said Joe Estes, owner of Safari Joe's Rock Creek Exotic Animal Park.

Brackett, 35, was a volunteer at the park and had six years' experience as a large cat trainer, Estes said. He said she was helping another handler and was not in the cage at the time of the attack.

"There's little slots where you can slide water in," he said. "Whether she reached in or leaned up against the cage, we don't know."

Estes said the tiger belongs to the International Wildlife Center of Texas, which is leasing one of the park's buildings. The center was formerly near Corsicana, Texas, but has relocated.

Area emergency personnel responded at about 2:30 p.m. and worked on the woman more than one hour before she was flown to the hospital.

The park three miles north of Adair is not open to the public. Estes said he took it over last year.

"We're trying to redo it and get it up to standards so we can get it open to the public," he said.

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