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Tiger injures handler at Steve Irwin family's Australia Zoo

An animal handler was injured when a tiger swiped him at a zoo owned by the family of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, officials said.

The 35-year-old man was taken to hospital in a stable condition from Australia Zoo, north of Brisbane, with claw wounds to his forehead and left arm, ambulance service spokesman Mark Fisher said. He was discharged later.

The zoo was founded by Irwin, the television personality and conservationist who was killed by a stingray in 2006. His widow Terri continues to run the attraction.

She tweeted: "Hot day. One of our tigers got hot and bothered and scratched a keeper. Keeper is ok, tiger is ok."

The zoo said in a statement that the handler was struck by a 12-year-old male Sumatran tiger named Ranu.

The statement said that when the handler approached the tiger to get him to change direction, "he swatted his paw, resulting in a scratch on his left wrist, bicep and right side of the forehead".

Government safety inspectors visited the zoo on Thursday.

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