The city confirmed the attack that afternoon and noted that the keeper was alert when she was transported to the hospital.
The zookeeper's name has not been released.
The victim, the primary tiger keeper at the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center, was in the predator's outdoor habitat when she was attacked, zoo director Brendan Wiley said at a news conference. A firearms response team also was dispatched to the tiger exhibit, but zookeepers had successfully lured the tiger away by the time it arrived.
Several visitors witnessed the attack, Hadfield said.
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Topeka's FOX affiliate, KSNT-TV, reported that all of the zoo's tigers were removed from their public enclosures for the day.
Hadfield added that "nothing will happen to the tiger; he is a wild animal and was acting on instinct".
The zoo was briefly closed after the incident, but has subsequently reopened.
A notification was put out to all zoo staff after the attack.
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The zookeeper suffered lacerations and puncture wounds to the back of the head, one of her arms and neck, but the tiger would not be euthanised. Without them, Wiley said, "this could have been a very different outcome". "There is absolutely no consideration of euthanizing the tiger".
Reporter Shawn Wheat said: "First responders are responding to the Topeka Zoo for a tiger attack". Sumatran tigers are an endangered species.
Sumatran tigers can weigh anywhere between 160 to 300 pounds, and only an estimated 400 are left in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
FILE PHOTO: Sumatran tigers are pictured before the play with leftover Christmas trees in the Tierpark Zoo in Berlin, Germany, January 4, 2019.
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