The Darwin Awards

2000 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Woman Disarmed by Tiger
2000 At-Risk Survivor
Confirmed True by Darwin

(22 May 2000, Colorado) A twenty-eight-year-old wildlife volunteer at the Prairie Wind Animal Refuge was demonstrating the gentility of a captive Siberian tiger to visitors when the tiger demonstrated a more familiar trait of its species and ripped her arm off.

The woman had been a volunteer for two years. When a group of visitors enquired whether the refuge had problems with people sticking their hands in the cages, she placed her arm inside the tiger cage and beckoned a full-grown two-year-old animal. The tiger, which was new to the facility, sauntered over and began to lick the woman's hand in an apparent display of affection. When the woman playfully scratched the tiger's nose, the animal recoiled and closed its jaws around her hand.

The woman discovered that the tiger did not intend to return her arm, and pulled away in a panic. Another tour guide reported that the beast worked its way up her shoulder in two seconds and tore her arm off at the socket. He said he tried to retrieve the arm, but "the tiger did not want to give it back."

Though the arm was not found, the remaining woman was airlifted to a nearby hospital and treated for an accidental amputation. But the tender-hearted tour guide bore no ill will toward the cat, and begged authorities from her hospital bed not to put down the animal as punishment for for its unsavory meal choice.

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