MOUND VALLEY, Kan. – A Siberian tiger (search) attacked and killed a teenage girl who was posing for photos at a family-run animal sanctuary Thursday in southeast Kansas, authorities said.
The Labette County Sheriff's office identified the victim as Haley R. Hilderbrand, 17, of Altamont.
A statement from the office said Hilderbrand was at the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary (search) posing for photos with the 7-year-old tiger, which was being restrained by its handler, when the animal turned and attacked her.
Officers and handlers killed the animal. Emergency personnel were not able to revive Hilderbrand.
Investigators have sent the tiger's body to Kansas State University (search) for dissection.
"This animal had been around people across the country and there's never been a problem," Sheriff William Blundell said in a telephone interview.
Keith Hilderbrand, Haley's uncle, said the family wasn't making any statements at this time.
Doug Billingsly and his family opened the 80-acre sanctuary in 1994.
According to the sanctuary's Web site, its animals include lions, leopards, tigers and bears.
The site says the sanctuary has an affiliated Animal Entertainment Productions (search), which trains animals for stage performances, movies, television shows and magic shows.
Billingsly didn't immediately return a phone call for comment.