19 Feb 2009

Injuries after encounters with dangerous animals

8:56 pm on 19 February 2009

Two fishermen are recovering from stab wounds after close encounters with marlin.

In the first incident this week, a Kerikeri man was stabbed in the calf by the bill of a marlin as he tried to tag and release it.

A second fisher - a Whangarei businessman - was stabbed in the thigh on Wednesday as he brought a young marlin aboard a boat east of the Poor Knights Islands.

He was airlifted by rescue helicopter to Whangarei Hospital for surgery.

Keeper bitten by tiger

Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Park has released details of an incident in which a keeper was bitten by a tiger.

The company says two white tigers were being moved through a race to a new enclosure on Wednesday, when the male cat had a spat with some lions next door.

It says the tiger backed down and took fright after hitting a fence. It then bit the handler in the knee.

When he fell back the tiger bit him three more times in the leg, untll he stopped it by grabbing its nose and pulling its lip.

The company says another keeper opened the tiger's jaws and squirted it with a fire extinguisher.

The injured handler has had surgery to his knee.