Horrifying moment tiger drags trainer in front of children at a Florida fair

By Jamie Rivera 10/27/2016 10:52:00

A tiger trainer at a Florida fair had to be rushed to hospital on Tuesday after being clawed on the legs by a tiger as children looked on.

Pensacola Interstate Fair spokesperson Katie King told the Pensacola News Journal that trainer Vicenta Pages suffered several cuts when a two-year-old Bengal tiger named Gandhi clawed her legs.

The spokesperson said Pages' partner rushed to help the trainer, madly hitting the tiger with a rod. The incident was captured on video by an onlooker.

The footage shows Pages being dragged across the enclosure by the tiger as her partner tries to stop the animal. Children can be seen in the video on the other side of the fence. 

Pages was reportedly performing a show in front of children on a school trip at the time of the incident.  However she stood up unassisted and talked to the children before going to a hospital. King said that Pages wasn't bitten, but grazed.

The fair was closed at the time and no children were hurt during the field trip showing. The White Tiger Show was canceled for the remainder of the fair, which runs through Sunday.

Animal Control officials weren't called, and King says the tiger won't be harmed.

'We're dealing with wild animals here and although we take every precaution, accidents like this sometimes happen,' David Donnert, Pages' fiancé and co-owner of the tiger show, said in a statement to ABC News.

'We know the hazards of our job, but we love these beautiful animals and Vicenta will be back as soon as she's able.'

In a press release, fair officials said the video shot by an audience member provides a different account of the incident. The fair remains open through Sunday but the tiger show has been cancelled.

'Fair officials did not witness the incident and relied upon an account statement provided by Pages White Tiger Show when responding to press inquiries. The fair apologizes for any misinformation,' the release said.

'The Pensacola Interstate Fair does not condone the mistreatment of animals.

'The show has been canceled for the remainder of the fair. All other entertainment acts and exhibits will continue as scheduled.'

By Jamie Rivera 10/27/2016 10:52:00

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