A Russian zookeeper recounted the horrifying moment when a Siberian tiger sneaked up and “sank his teeth” into her flesh as her life flashed before her eyes in the 10 minutes that felt like “an eternity.”
Nadezhda Srivastava, 44, was bringing food to the 16-year-old tiger named Taifun, or Typhoon, when the animal pounced on her at Kaliningrad Zoo in Russia. Srivastava recalled to The Mirror how she attempted to talk to the tiger in an attempt to stop the attack.
"In a few moments I saw the tiger, standing half of meter from me," she said. "He approached very quietly, I did not expect this and had no time to react, let alone run away.”
"At first I tried to speak to him -- like, 'Go away', or 'Let me go,’” she added. "I hoped that he would retreat."
The zookeeper said she felt like she was “in a dream” as Typhoon continued to maul her, pushing her to the ground. She added that she placed her elbow and hands in his jaws to prevent him from harming her face and head.
"I tried to turn or crawl away, but he again fell on top of me with all his weight. I don't know if he was playing or not. It was agonizing,” Srivastava recalled. "When I turned unsuccessfully -- he sank his teeth into my back."
Srivastava said she just wanted the “torture to end” and it took all her strength to get up and run to the “inner room” when the tiger retreated.
“If it were not for the visitors of the zoo, I would no longer be alive,” she said.
The zookeeper was then rushed to hospital. “The patient was delivered to the hospital with multiple wounds to the body and limbs,” said a local health ministry spokesman, according to the Sun. Srivastava told The Mirror the tiger “shattered” her wrist and “broke” her fingers, but her nerves are still intact.
Typhoon was born on July 1, 2001, in the Chelyabinsk Zoo in Russia. He arrived at the zoo in the Russian Kaliningrad region, a pocket of land located between Poland and Lithuania, on Feb. 4, 2002.
Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report.