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4 tigers attack woman at Frontenac home

Associated Press

FRONTENAC -- A woman was recovering today at Saint Marys Hospital after she was attacked by four tigers at a rural residence outside this Mississippi River-side town, authorities said.

The Goodhue County Sheriff reported today that 37-year-old Allison Asher of Minneapolis was apparently helping care for the cats when they attacked her. She suffered wounds to her leg and neck, said Kris Weiss of the sheriff's office.

A helicopter brought the woman to the hospital for surgery. She was in serious condition early today.

The attack happened on 48-year-old Grant Oly's property, which includes at least two large fenced pens for the animals. The sheriff's office said the incident is under investigation.

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Sheriff Dean Albers said the initial investigation indicates Asher was cleaning a pen when one of the animals attacked her, and then three more joined in. Oly scared them off by yelling and dragged Asher to safety, Albers said.

Exotic animals have gotten Oly in trouble before. County authorities said they have been working on the situation for the past two years.

The sheriff's office said the tigers have not been loose and aren't a threat to the general public. However, officials said they are concerned for the safety of people who go onto the property and interact with the animals.

In February 2004, Oly was convicted of keeping up to eight tigers when county zoning rules have a limit of three exotic pets.

"We believe Mr. Oly is in violation of that," Albers said today. "He has seven (tigers), and you are only allowed to have three."

In 2003, a tiger on Oly's property was euthanized after it bit a 31-year-old pregnant woman on the wrist.

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