Tiger was 'just excited': Australia Zoo handler

THE handler involved in a tiger bite incident at Australia Zoo said the big cat was "excited" by the smell of another feline when he lunged.

Mark Turner remains in Nambour General Hospital for monitoring purposes, after he was bitten on the calf by Juma the 130kg Sumatran tiger on Tuesday.

Talking from his hospital bed, Mr Turner said he is recovering well and that he holds no grudges against Juma over the incident.

He said the tiger was simply overly excited by the smell of another tiger on his body while being moved from one area to another, off-public display.

"I'd been walking another cat prior to him," Mr Turner said.

RELATED: Australia Zoo handler bitten on World Tiger Day

"With this particular cat, he doesn't have a very good relationship, so we always keep them apart, but I had been walking him.

"So the smell of the cat was on me and he got quite excited by the smell, so that's why he reacted the way he did.

"I don't hold any grudges against Juma.

"He's an awesome cat.

"He has a great personality.

"He's an affectionate cat.

"I know it wasn't a personal thing against me, it was just because of the other cat smell on me and I understand that

"We all do."

Mr Turner said he can't wait to get back to work and interact with the cats again soon.


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