Bangkok: An Australian tourist was mauled by a 15-month-old tiger in one of Thailand's tiger parks, where people can go and pet these big cats and have their photographs taken with them.
The incident took place in the Tiger Kingdom, opened last year, in the scenic resort island of Phuket that draws hundreds of tourists everyday.
The park allows visitors to enter several different tiger enclosures, pose for photographs with the chained and drugged adult tigers and feed by bottles to cubs.
Following Tuesday's mauling of Paul Goudie, 49, the tiger zone where tourists could pet and pose for pictures with animals was closed off.
Eye-witnesses said Goudie stepped inside a cage to pet the tiger when the big cat unexpectedly attacked him. He was dragged out of the cage by a park attendant and rushed to a near-by hospital.
One of the park's managers visited Goudie in hospital yesterday with the District Chief for Kathu, where the Tiger Kingdom facility is located in central Phuket.
Though hugely popular with tourists, there is always a danger of these wild animals, despite being drugged, resorting to their natural instincts.
Last year a young woman was knocked down and bitten on the leg by a tiger at the popular Tiger Temple park in the Kanchanaburi, local media reported.