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Woman arrested after trespassing at zoo, bitten by tiger


This news story was published on November 1, 2015.
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investigateOMAHA – A woman was charged with criminal trespassing after she was illegally in a zoo and tried to pet a tiger and was then bitten.

Omaha, Nebraska police officers received a call to Creighton University Medical Center regarding a disturbance with a patient that had an injury to her left hand on November 1.

Officers made contact with the victim/suspect who was identified as 33-year-old Jacqueline Eide. Eide was aggressive toward staff and showed signs of intoxication of alcohol and/or drugs.

Through investigation, it was learned that Eide had made unauthorized entry into the Zoo to pet a tiger. When she reached into the cage, she was bitten causing severe trauma to her hand. She was then transported to the hospital by a friend.

Contact was made with Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and this incident is under investigation. Eide was cited for Criminal Trespass and remained at the hospital for treatment.

According to the Omaha Zoo, as reported by the Omaha Police Department on November 1, 2015, two people trespassed after-hours at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Halloween night. One of the individuals’ hands was injured while on grounds, reportedly by a tiger. The tiger believed to have been involved in the incident was Mai, an 18-year-old, Malayan tiger.

“The safety and security of our guests and animals are always a priority at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium,” said Dennis Pate, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s executive director and CEO. “Emergency phone numbers are printed on maps for guests to call in case of an emergency and security staff keep watch on grounds around the clock. We have added security cameras, new path lighting and computer-controlled locks to track exit and entry. Additional path lighting is planned for the new African Grasslands exhibit and more cameras will be installed to monitor the grounds and gates.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. As one of only 230 accredited zoos and aquariums, the highest standards must be met, including the safety and security for guests and animals. Multiple drills are conducted by Zoo staff annually to ensure a rapid and appropriate response in the event of an emergency.

“We will continue to keep security a top priority for Zoo guests and animals,” Pate said.

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