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Wynnewood Zoo Official Defends Park, Updates Mauled Worker's Condition

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Pressure for a thorough investigation continued to build Monday. Schreibvogel tells News 9 that groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and PETA will "never back off." Pressure for a thorough investigation continued to build Monday. Schreibvogel tells News 9 that groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and PETA will "never back off."
WYNNEWOOD, Oklahoma -

An animal caretaker mauled by a tiger at the G-W Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood is expected to keep her arm. Even amid criticism from animal advocacy groups, the zoo said Monday it did nothing wrong.

The tiger's owner, Joe Schreibvogel, distributed copies of a hand-written note he says the injured employee wrote, admitting she broke protocol by sticking her hand into the tiger's cage. Schreibvogel identified the victim as 27-year-old Kelci Saffery. She had been with the zoo for less than a year at the time of her attack Saturday. By Monday evening, reports of medical progress were delivered to the zoo.

10/7/2013 Related Story: GW Exotic Animal Park Identifies Employee Injured In Tiger Mauling

"OU Medical Center has some pretty remarkable doctors to completely put that arm back together," said Schreibvogel. "She used her fingers today."

Schreibvogel, who is also a medic, says Saffery is in good spirits. But she will have a long road to a new normal.

"I have worked some pretty horrific car accidents, and this was probably one of the most horrific arm injuries I've ever seen," Schreibvogel said.

As for the tiger, the Garvin County sheriff has ordered it quarantined for at least 10 days. Schreibvogel says he will keep the animal away from the public for the rest of its life, but he insists the cat is not dangerous.

"The tiger will not be put down," said Schreibvogel. "No one can force me to put that tiger down … absolutely not."

Pressure for a thorough investigation continued to build Monday. Schreibvogel tells News 9 that groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and PETA will "never back off." The zoo's cages will be re-inspected, according to the zoo. Schreibvogel stresses the facility meets USDA guidelines.

Part of Saffery's ring finger had to be removed. She is expected to stay in the hospital for the next two weeks.

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