Zoo Miami identifies zookeeper bitten by tiger

Emily Mack violated protocol when she stuck finger through bars

MIAMI – Zoo Miami has identified the zookeeper who was bitten by a tiger Tuesday.

Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill on Wednesday identified the employee as Emily Mack, a two-year veteran at the zoo.

Magill said Mack was feeding Berani, an 8-year-old Sumatran tiger, through the bars against protocol when she was bitten on the finger. Magill said she lost one-eighth of the top of her finger.

Zoo Miami's website describes Berani as "a laid back tiger, but will occasionally act aggressively toward his keepers."

"Unfortunately, this keeper, she was rewarding the cat for going from one point to the other," Magill said. "She deviated from protocol. She allowed her fingers to go through the bars when pushing through the meat."

Visitors at the zoo didn't seem to know about the incident, but they weren't too surprised.

"These things happen," visitor Gerard Leon said. "They're wild animals, so they're going to do what wild animals do."

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