Truly terrifying. Nadezhda Srivastava, a zookeeper and proud mother of 3, was attacked by a Siberian tiger as cameras were snapping. Now, she’s sharing how she thinks she survived.
It’s every zookeeper’s worst nightmare. Roughly 2 weeks ago, Nadezhda Srivastava, an employee at Kaliningrad Zoo in Russia, stepped into an enclosure to feed Typhoon, a 16-year-0ld Siberian tiger. But before she realized she had left the gate unlocked, which usually ensures her safety, the male tiger pounced on her. For the next 10 minutes Nadezhda fought off the tiger’s attack as onlookers watched (almost) helplessly. After somehow surviving the horrific attack, she relayed her horrific experience from her hospital bed.
“He approached very quietly, I did not expect this and had no time to react, let alone run away,” she recalled, via the Daily Mail. “At first I tried to speak to him like, ‘Go away,’ or ‘Let me go.’ I hoped that he would retreat. I was like in a dream, and did not fully realize what was going on. [Typhoon] pushed me down on the ground. He was not growling, he was not furious, he just bit me, gnawing my hands.” Simply terrifying.
She added that that’s when she began to try and make her escape, but Typhoon was always one step ahead. “I put my elbows and hands in his jaws, so he wouldn’t touch my head and neck. When the tiger slightly weakened its grip, I had a hope. 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.”
While she struggled to get away from the enormous animal, the onlookers began trying to draw the tiger’s attention. They threw rocks at it. They even tossed a bench and a table into the enclosure. Finally a trash bin was hurled into the pit which Nadezhda believes angered Typhoon enough to call him away from the mother of 3. That’s when she made her escape.
“I walked quickly into the (safety of the keepers’) room, closing one door, then a second,” she stated. “In the corridor, I had to open another door so that they could take me away. There I lay on the floor, everything hurt, especially my back, but I realized that I was alive.”