World

Handler recovering after tiger attack at Australian zoo owned by Steve Irwin's family

  • In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 and made available Thursday, Nov. 28, a Sumatran tiger approaches to Australia Zoo handler Dave Styles, left, before leaping on him in an enclosure at the zoo in Sunshine Coast, Australia. Styles who suffered puncture wounds to his head and shoulder was rescued by fellow workers at the zoo. He is recovering following surgery after being airlifted to a hospital. (AP Photo/Johanna Schehl)

    In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 and made available Thursday, Nov. 28, a Sumatran tiger approaches to Australia Zoo handler Dave Styles, left, before leaping on him in an enclosure at the zoo in Sunshine Coast, Australia. Styles who suffered puncture wounds to his head and shoulder was rescued by fellow workers at the zoo. He is recovering following surgery after being airlifted to a hospital. (AP Photo/Johanna Schehl)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 and made available Thursday, Nov. 28, a Sumatran tiger leaps on Australia Zoo handler Dave Styles, left, as an unidentified man comes to Styles' aid in an enclosure at the zoo at Sunshine Coast, Australia. Styles who suffered puncture wounds to his head and shoulder was rescued by fellow workers at the zoo. He is recovering following surgery after being airlifted to a hospital. (AP Photo/Johanna Schehl)

    In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 and made available Thursday, Nov. 28, a Sumatran tiger leaps on Australia Zoo handler Dave Styles, left, as an unidentified man comes to Styles' aid in an enclosure at the zoo at Sunshine Coast, Australia. Styles who suffered puncture wounds to his head and shoulder was rescued by fellow workers at the zoo. He is recovering following surgery after being airlifted to a hospital. (AP Photo/Johanna Schehl)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 and made available Thursday, Nov. 28, a Sumatran tiger leaps on Australia Zoo handler Dave Styles, left, as an unidentified man comes to Styles' aid in an enclosure at the zoo at Sunshine Coast, Australia. Styles who suffered puncture wounds to his head and shoulder was rescued by fellow workers at the zoo. He is recovering following surgery after being airlifted to a hospital. (AP Photo/Johanna Schehl)

    In this photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 and made available Thursday, Nov. 28, a Sumatran tiger leaps on Australia Zoo handler Dave Styles, left, as an unidentified man comes to Styles' aid in an enclosure at the zoo at Sunshine Coast, Australia. Styles who suffered puncture wounds to his head and shoulder was rescued by fellow workers at the zoo. He is recovering following surgery after being airlifted to a hospital. (AP Photo/Johanna Schehl)  (The Associated Press)

An animal handler was recovering in a hospital on Thursday after being attacked by a Bengal tiger at a zoo in Australia owned by the family of late wildlife expert Steve Irwin.

The handler, Dave Styles, was taken by helicopter to a hospital after the tiger dragged him into a pool and bit his neck and shoulders during a show Tuesday at the Australia Zoo in Queensland.

The zoo said Styles was recovering and in stable condition.

Zoo officials said Styles was wearing a poncho, and the tiger may have mistaken him for its favorite biting toy.

News reports said several dozen people witnessed the attack.

Steve Irwin, whose family owns the zoo, was an Australian television personality and wildlife expert who died while filming an underwater documentary in 2006.