Woman Gets Mauled by Her Own Pet Tiger


Averi Carlson, Contributor

Every day since they were born, Patty Perry played with two tigers that she raised from birth. They are located at a California wildlife sanctuary where Perry works as director and founder. One day Perry went into the tiger cage, following her normal routine. After several moments in the cage, one of the tigers reached his paws around her legs and dragged her to the ground while the other started pulling on her arms. The two tigers were said to have wrestled with her for a few minutes before several of the witnesses rushed to her aid. 

This incident happened while the sanctuary was throwing an event for the park’s donors. Several people from the fire department saw the attack and were able to save Perry’s life. “A lot of people, I’m sure, that saw it were horrified, thinking the worst,” Michael Bradbury, the sanctuary’s lawyer, said.

Perry’s injuries could have been fatal had she been in the cage any longer. She suffered from several lacerations to her head, and bite marks on her neck and arms. She was transported to the local hospital to treat her wounds. 

Perry is the director of the Wildlife and Environmental Conservation in Moorpark. She has more than fifty animals in her park, including zebras, birds, tigers, and leopards. She follows the same routine every day and none of the animals have ever attacked her before. She claims that the tigers had no idea what they were doing and they meant no harm.

Bradbury said that Perry was heartbroken that they had injured her. In an interview the day after the accident, he said, “It’s very difficult for her. When you love them like your own children and everything, it becomes emotional.” She had been caring for these Bengal tigers for their whole lives and never thought they would do something like this. She said these were like her kids, and that she would continue to care for them for the rest of her life. 

Even after the accident, she plans to go back to the sanctuary and follow her original schedule. However, based on the hundreds of cat attacks that have been happening all over the world. According to Big Cat Rescue, an organization centered around the protecting abused and abandoned cats, “There have been at least 900 reported big cat attacks since 1990. Tigers are quick and aggressive by nature. Keepers should interact with tigers in pairs to ensure each other’s safety and maintain a barrier between themselves and the animals.” When tigers feel cornered or threatened they attack, and whether Perry made them feel unsafe is unclear. 

Bradbury is now debating what to do with the situation. With all the recent cat attacks, having two tigers in the sanctuary is dangerous. Perry defends her claim that the tigers were innocent, and will continue to care for them. 

The tigers still remain at the Wildlife and Environmental Conservation but extra precautions have been taken. These changes were made for the benefit of the tigers and the employees of the sanctuary. Now they have made it a safer environment with the hope that there will be no more attacks in the future.