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Wynnewood zoo fined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration after tiger attack

An exotic animal park in southern Oklahoma, where a woman was mauled by a tiger Saturday, has been fined roughly $5,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: April 17, 2014 at 9:15 pm •  Published: April 17, 2014

A controversial exotic animal park in Wynnewood where a woman was attacked by a tiger in October — losing her arm in the process — was recently fined roughly $5,000 by the federal agency that oversees workplace safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the small zoo, run by the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation, for not providing protective barriers in the cages used to house big cats and bears, both of which can fatally injure humans with little effort.

The facility also was fined for not having a “written hazard communication program,” and for not keeping a log of injuries and illness suffered by staff members, which is required by businesses and organizations with more than 10 employees, records show.

Four of the five items listed by OSHA investigators, who inspected the zoo on Dec. 20, were deemed by “serious” by the agent who prepared the report detailing the violations.

The largest fine, at $2,800, is a result of the tiger attack that occurred on Oct. 5 when zoo employee Kelci Saffery stuck her gloved hand into a tiger’s cage as she fed it. The tiger quickly grabbed her hand and pulled her arm into the cage.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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