Circus trainer bitten by tiger

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The family of a British circus trainer was last night anxiously awaiting news of him after he was bitten on the head by a tiger during a photo- shoot in America.

Richard Chipperfield, 23, a member of the Chipperfield Circus, based in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, was in intensive care in St Petersburg, Florida and was due to undergo surgery last night.

Some reports said the trainer had put his head inside the tiger's mouth, but others said the animal attacked him from behind.

A St Petersburg police spokeswoman said the tiger attacked Mr Chipperfield, causing him serious injury.It was believed that Mr Chipperfield's brother, Graham, who is also a circus trainer, grabbed a shotgun and killed the tiger by shooting it five times.