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Onlookers save zookeeper from Siberian tiger attack

This Russian zookeeper was caught between a rock and a real hard place.

A Siberian tiger pinned the handler who was bringing it food, biting and clawing at her.

The woman was only saved when quick-thinking onlookers shouted and threw stones at the beast until it backed off.

The big cat, named Typhoon, sprang on the unidentified keeper at the Kaliningrad Zoo in Russia Saturday because its cage door had been accidentally left open.

Shocking photos show the tiger gnawing on the young woman as she lies on her back screaming in terror. The attack happened near a fence mere feet from where zoo visitors had been taking photos of the beast.

Besides throwing rocks, some men managed to lift a table and chairs from a nearby café and hurl them over the fence to distract the tiger while the keeper crawled away to safety.

The zookeeper was badly mauled. She was rushed to the hospital and is expected to survive.

“The girl’s face was bleeding,” one witness said. “She screamed and tried to fight off the animal.”

The Siberian tiger, the largest cat in the world, was supposed to be contained in another part of its compound when the woman brought in a hunk of meat for dinner. No other zoo employees were present inside the cage at the time.

In a statement, the zoo praised the visitors who saved the employee’s life.

“The animal entered the enclosure when the keeper was there. The tiger attacked the human,” the statement read.

“Visitors with their shouting, stones and other improvisation managed to distract the animal. This allowed the zoo employee to hide in a back room.”