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Article updated: 7/31/2013 10:35 AM

Streamwood woman attacked by tiger continues recovery

By Eric Peterson

A benefit fund has been established for Marissa Dub, the 2008 Streamwood High School graduate critically injured June 21 when mauled by a tiger at the Indiana exotic animal care facility where she works.

Meanwhile, Dub's physical recovery continues to progress. The 23-year-old was released from inpatient rehabilitation at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind. last week, but continues to receive therapy on an outpatient basis, her mother Kris Dub said.

"She's not in any pain," Kris Dub said of her daughter. "Her mood varies, as all ours do."

Among the biggest steps accomplished before her release was the unwiring of her mouth and the removal of a tracheotomy tube.

She has limited mobility in her arm and no movement on the left side of her face, but doctors believe recovery in these areas is just a matter of time, her mother said. Lingering swelling must still go down to release the nerves, she said.

Marissa has even been back to her workplace at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Ind., where she received a warm reception from her colleagues, Kris Dub said.

While it's hard to estimate how much longer Marissa's recovery will take, it seems likely to be at least a couple more months. Kris -- a teacher -- will be able to stay with her until early September, when her husband will take over if Marissa still needs their assistance.

The benefit fund for Marissa Nicole Dub was set up at the BMO Harris Bank branch in Terre Haute where she now lives, but donations can be made through any BMO Harris Bank branch by searching for her full name, Kris said.

The fund is intended to help cover her medical bills, Kris explained. Though she's still receiving a salary from the rescue center, it's largely consumed by existing expenses such as student loans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is continuing its investigation of the tiger attack at the rescue center where Dub has worked as a keeper since graduating from Southern Illinois University in May 2012.

Staff at the rescue center said they cannot comment on Dub's injury while the investigation is ongoing.

But Joe Taft, director of the rescue center which he established in 1991, previously described the circumstances of the attack as an accident. Taft said workers are never allowed direct contact with the animals, and that all the cages have shift areas where the animals are confined when workers enter to feed them and clean the cages. The door to the shift area was not closed at the time of the attack, he said.

The rescue center is a refuge for big cats that have been abused, abandoned or otherwise made homeless.

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