konmesa / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Tiger attacks zookeeper at zoo in Topeka, Kansas

April 20, 2019 - 2:29 pm

By Deanna Hackney and Dakin Andone, CNN

(CNN) -- A zookeeper is recovering in the hospital after she was attacked Saturday morning by a tiger at the Topeka, Kansas zoo.

The woman and a male tiger named Sanjiv were in the "same space" when the incident occurred about 9:15 a.m., Molly Hadfield, a spokeswoman for the City of Topeka, told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield.

Hadfield could not provide specific information about why the zookeeper was in that space with the tiger, but said officials were "trying to figure out what happened."

Several visitors witnessed the attack, Hadfield said.

The zoo was shut down for about 45 minutes but has reopened.

The zookeeper was "alert and awake" at the time she was taken to the hospital, Hadfield said.

Sanjiv and the zoo's other tigers have been put in holding cells and will not be on display Saturday, Hadfield said.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.