It is heartbreaking how a female zoo keeper, Nadezhda Srivastava from Russia had to fight for her life as she was

It was such a terrible 10 minutes for the mother of three as death stared her in the face, accroding to

In narrating her ordeal, Nadezhda said the attack seemed so like a dream that the only option she thought was available for her was to beg the Tiger for mercy.

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“In a few moments I saw the tiger, standing half of metre from me.

“He approached very quietly, I did not expect this and had no time to react – let alone run away.

“At first I tried to speak to him – like, ‘Go away’, or ‘Let me go’. I hoped that he would retreat.”

As the Tiger didn’t seem to care about her plea for mercy, it then dawned on Nadezhda she was in a more serious situation than she had thought.

“I was like in a dream, and did not fully realise what was going on. Taifun pushed me down on the ground. “He was not growling, he was not furious, he just bit me, gnawing my hands.”

But how did she survive at all? Nadezhda whose name means hope, said “I put my elbows and hands in his jaws, so he wouldn’t touch my head and neck. When the tiger slightly weakened its grip, I had a hope.

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“I tried to turn or crawl away, but he again fell on top of me with all his weight. I don’t know if he was playing or not. It was agonising.

“Someone shouted for me to grab a stick to hit the tiger, but I knew no stick could save me from this predator.

“He had badly torn my arm, it hurt terribly. I began to push him back with my foot, but he bit into my leg, ripping off my boot. When I turned unsuccessfully – he sank his teeth into my back.”

It got to a point in the dreadful moment when the poor woman lost all hopes of surviving the attack, all she said she was thinking of were her mother and three children.

She only had some respite when visitors threw some stones into the zoo to distract the wild animal.

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At this point she said “I gathered all my remaining strength like I was clenching a fist. I walked quickly into the (safety of the keepers’) room, closing one door, then a second. There I lay on the floor, everything hurt, especially my back, but I realised that I was alive.”

Nadezhda  added that “I can walk badly now, my ribs are broken, and I have lacerations on my hands.

“Taifun shattered my wrist with his teeth, broke my fingers. But my nerves are intact, my arms, legs – everything works, moves.”

Ironically, after about 25 years of zoo keeping the poor woman is likely to face sanctions and also lose her job as an investigation initiated into the attack has reportedly cited her for “a gross violation of safety regulations”.