LOS ANGELES, Calif. (December 5, 2007) --Wild animals are called wild for a reason, and once again we were reminded of how unpredictable they can be when a tiger at Tippi Hedren’s sanctuary attacked her caretaker.
Tippi, the mother of actress Melanie Griffith and an actress in her own right, described the scene when a five-year old, 450-pound Bengal tiger, Alexander, mauled her Shambala Preserve caretaker, Chris Orr, on Monday.
“Apparently very suddenly from a reclining position on his back he bounded over to Chris,” Tippi explains of the attack on 40 year-old caretaker. “They eventually got the cat off of him… I absolutely panicked because I know what these animals are capable of doing.”
After a harrowing 911 call, Orr was airlifted to a nearby hospital. He is still in ICU, but is in stable condition with wounds on his arm leg and neck.
“Chris has been smiling and he seems to be content and happy,” Tippi told Access.
Tippi, who ironically is most famous for being attacked by “The Birds” in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic of the same name, says Chris was cleaning the cage when the tiger pounced. He was not wearing any protective gear, although that may change.
“Possibly a suit of armor would be a good idea,” Tippi said.
So why was Chris unprotected and in the cage with the cat?
“With this tiger they felt really safe with him which of course is a mistake,” Tippi said.