Tiger bites woman in painful Halloween zoo trespass
NEBRASKA — Breaking into a Nebraska zoo to “pet” a tiger has left a woman with injuries from the big cat and a citation for criminal trespass.
Jacqueline Eide, 33, apparently evaded security to sneak into Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo on Halloween night.
She was bitten Sunday morning and taken to Creighton University Medical Center by a friend, the Omaha Police Department said in a statement Sunday.
Officers were later called “regarding a disturbance” at the hospital. “Eide was aggressive toward staff and showed signs of intoxication of alcohol and/or drugs,” police said.
“Through investigation, it was learned that Eide had made unauthorized entry into the Zoo to pet a tiger. When she reached into the cage, she was bitten causing severe trauma to her hand,” police said.
The Police Department said Eide had been cited for criminal trespass and remained hospitalized.
Eide was at risk of losing her fingers from her injuries, CNN affiliate KETV reported. It said Eide had multiple prior convictions for derelict behavior.
The zoo said two people had trespassed “after hours on Halloween night,” one of whom had been injured.
“The tiger believed to have been involved in the incident was Mai, an 18-year-old, Malayan tiger,” it said.
The zoo’s executive director, Dennis Pate, said that the safety and security of its guests were a priority.
“Emergency phone numbers are printed on maps for guests to call in case of an emergency, and security staff keep watch on grounds around the clock,” he said.
Additional safety measures are in the process of being implemented, Pate said, according to CNN affiliate KPTM.
The incident is under investigation.