Weather Updates

Local native attacked by tiger


Marissa Dub

storyidforme: 51138946
tmspicid: 19027755
fileheaderid: 8600525

Updated: June 22, 2013 10:58PM

A 23-year-old woman originally from the northwest suburbs was in serious condition Saturday at an Indianapolis hospital after being attacked at the animal refuge where she works by a tiger that held her head in its mouth until coworkers coaxed it away.

Marissa Dub, a 2008 graduate of Streamwood High School, was attacked Friday afternoon at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Ind., where she works as a keeper.

Authorities said Dub’s co-workers had to coax the tiger to release her head from its mouth.

Dub had been cleaning the cage of an 18-year-old male tiger named Raja when it escaped from a holding area through a door that was left open, authorities said.

“The tiger ended up with Marissa’s head in its mouth,” according to the Clay County, Ind., sheriff’s office.

Joe Hart, the rescue center’s director, said another keeper heard Dub’s screams for help and immediately contacted him.

“We just called the tiger,” Hart said Saturday. “When the tiger responded to our calls and let her go, we sort of flipped water [from a hose] on the tiger.”

Meat was used to lure the animal away from Dub, he said.

No visitors were in the area when it happened, but the feline center, which is about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis near Terre Haute, Ind., was open to the public at the time.

A helicopter took her to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, where a spokeswoman said her condition was upgraded Saturday from critical condition to serious, but she remained in intensive care.

Dub suffered cuts and bone fractures, but her injuries weren’t believed to be life-threatening, Clay County Chief Deputy Rob Gambill said.

On her Facebook page, Dub says she began working at the rescue center a little over a year ago, after graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where she studied animal science.

The big-cat center, open since 1991, is home to more than 230 animals, making it “one of the largest rescue centers in the United States for abused, unwanted and neglected exotic felines,” according to its website.

Contributing: AP

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.