Indiana woman critical after tiger clamps her head in its mouth
June 23, 2013 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
- The victim was cleaning cages when a worker nearby heard her screaming
- The 18-year-old tiger named Raja was eventually lured away with food
- The victim, who is in her early twenties, was air lifted to an Indianapolis hospital
(CNN) -- A tiger mauled a caretaker who was cleaning its cage, clamping the woman's head in its mouth during the attack at an Indiana animal rescue shelter.
The woman is in critical condition after the attack Friday at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Indiana.
The facility confirmed an incident involving an employee and a tiger, but declined to provide specifics, saying it does not want to discuss the incident with the media.
In a statement, the Clay County Sheriff's Office provided more details on the attack.
The victim was cleaning cages when a worker nearby heard her screaming, Sheriff Rob Gambill said in a statement.
When the employee ran over to help, she discovered the tiger had her head in its mouth.
Joe Taft, the director of the facility, sprayed the 18-year-old tiger named Raja in the face with a hose to loosen its grip before it was eventually lured away with food.
The victim, who is in her early twenties, was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital.
Authorities said the tiger escaped its holding area because a door was not properly shut.
Taft said the victim had "a fair amount of experience" working with cats and had previously interacted with that very tiger.
It is one of about 130-140 tigers living at the facility.
UK zoo worker dies after being mauled by tiger
Worker mauled to death at California sanctuary by her favorite lion
Part of complete coverage on
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1635 GMT (0035 HKT)
The possibility of pockets of air remaining within the hull of the sunken South Korean ferry offers hope to rescuers -- and relatives -- say experts.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Despite hundreds still missing after the sinking of a South Korean ferry, reports of text messages keep hope alive that there may be survivors yet.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 2131 GMT (0531 HKT)
Russia's propaganda worse now than at height of Cold War, says Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at AEI.
Sanctions imposed against Russia are working as a deterrent, President Barack Obama and other White House senior administration officials said.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 0440 GMT (1240 HKT)
A lack of progress in the search for MH370 is angering the families of victims.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)
The searches for the Titanic and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 share common techniques.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 0335 GMT (1135 HKT)
This year's Pyongyang marathon was open to foreign amateurs.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1753 GMT (0153 HKT)
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1702 GMT (0102 HKT)
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 2126 GMT (0526 HKT)
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1552 GMT (2352 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
Today's five most popular stories