Thai Tiger Mauls Australian? Duh!

An Australian is recovering in a Thai hospital after being mauled by a young male tiger in a special tourist enclosure at an animal park on the resort island of Phuket.

Paul Goudie, from Werribee, near Melbourne, was attacked at the enclosure this week at the Tiger Kingdom tourist show after being given controlled access to a group of young tigers.

Goudie, 49, suffered serious bites to his left leg and stomach and is being treated at a Phuket hospital prior to surgery to avoid the risk of infection.

At the tiger park, tourists are invited into a special caged enclosure with handlers as part of the visitor experience.

“We did everything as the park people advised,” Goudie told reporters from the online news service Phuketwan at the hospital.

“I am not sure why it bit me,” he said.

He punched the tiger as it attacked him.

“When it did [attack] I had no choice except to whack it in the face a couple of times,” he said.

Thai authorities say Goudie, who has two steel pins in an ankle, may have moved awkwardly as park handlers assisted him back to his feet, with the unusual movement triggering an attack. The tiger was tasered by park staff, forcing it to retreat.

A visiting doctor at the scene provided assistance until an ambulance and emergency staff arrived.

“The handler was with us the whole time. The tiger was 15 months old. I was patting him, everything was fine. I just stood up to leave,” Goudie said.

Goudie is on a two-week holiday in Phuket with his family.

His son, 16-year old Jake Goudie, said the injuries were largely to his father’s left leg and stomach.

“The tiger couldn’t get a good grip on my dad’s stomach,” Jake said.

Thai officials said the tiger park was to be closed for two days while investigations into the accident were conducted. The young tiger will no longer have contact with visitors.

Goudie, who has a tattoo of a tiger, praised the park’s staff and said he was even considering another tiger tattoo.

“I don’t want anything to happen to the tiger,” he said. “I don’t want it killed.” Read more 

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