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updated: 6/24/2013 4:48 PM

Streamwood grad attacked by tiger improving, family thankful

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  • Marissa Dub

    Marissa Dub
    Courtesy of ABC 7


A 2008 Streamwood High School graduate recovering from a tiger attack in Indiana last week has been upgraded to fair condition, officials said Monday.

Marissa Dub, now of Terre Haute, Ind., initially was in critical condition after the attack Friday afternoon at Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Ind. She was listed in serious condition Sunday, according to Natalie Moya, spokeswoman for Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis.

Dub's family released a statement through the hospital Monday.

"We would like to let everyone know that Marissa is resting. We appreciate the thoughts, prayers and concern for her and our family during this difficult time," the statement reads. "We will not be making any further statements, and we would greatly appreciate the respect of our privacy."

Dub, who's been working at the rescue center since 2012 after graduating from Southern Illinois University, was cleaning the male tiger's cage Friday afternoon when it got loose and attacked her. The Clay County Sheriff's Office said Dub's head was in the tiger's mouth at one point, but no further details on the extent of her injuries were available.

The director of the rescue center said the door to an area where animals are supposed to be confined while workers enter to feed them and clean was not closed when Dub entered the pen.

The incident is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates facilities that keep exotic animals.

Spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released the following statement:

"This facility is currently under investigation and as such it is inappropriate to comment further. We will be looking into the incident that occurred on Friday at the facility. We will be inspecting to see whether any AWA (Animal Welfare Act) noncompliances occurred that may have contributed to this incident."

Espinosa added that there's no time frame in place for the investigation, which could result in a warning letter, fines, license suspension or revocation if violations are found.

According to department records, the facility last was inspected in September, and there were no noncompliant items identified at that time.

Located about 65 miles southwest of Indianapolis, Exotic Feline Rescue Center opened in 1991 as a refuge for big cats who have been abused, abandoned or are otherwise homeless. They are often brought to the center because of the work of government agencies.

• Staff writer Kimberly Pohl contributed to this story

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