Once a wild animal, always a wild animal. And one Carole Baskin employee is learning that the hard way.
One of the tigers at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Animal Rescue took a big bite out of a staffer, Candy Couser. TMZ reports she’s lucky to be alive. the Hillsborough Fire Rescue says that they received the call on Thursday (Dec. 3) morning from Baskin’s rescue. The message was that an employee suffered a serious bite on the hand, plus an arm injury.
Carole and Howard Baskin have spoken out on the incident. The couple says that Couser’s “one of their longtime volunteers” and she “stuck her hand into the enclosure of Kimba the tiger, to open the door for feeding time … and Kimba bit into her hand and started thrashing.”
It’s been reported that Couser’s arm was nearly torn off at the shoulder. The tiger let go of Couser’s arm. when other staffers ran over to the scene. The employees were quick to act and applied a tourniquet to the wounds until paramedics arrived at the sanctuary.
The medics attempted to stabilize the staffer, and before transporting her to the hospital. Additionally, despite the severity of the attack, Couser’s expecting to survive.
She was conscious during the ambulance ride and was vocal about her wishes that Kimba didn’t receive any sort of punishment. However, the Baskins says that the tiger will be quarantined for the next 30 days as a precaution. They also add that the tiger was “just acting normal” because of food present.
Further Details of Attack at Carole Baskin Cat Rescue
The Big Cat Rescue Instagram account shares the details of the attack. The caption states that “Kimba was in a different section that was away from where he was usually fed.” Couser radioed the coordinator to find out why. It was said that he was in this section because cameras were being installed in his typical enclosure.
The explanation continues “She opened a guillotine tunnel door at one end of the tunnel, and when she went to raise the second door she saw it was clipped shut.”
However, the post shares that Couser did not follow protocol, “This is our universal signal NOT to open a gate without the coordinator coming to assist, but Candy said she just wasn’t thinking when she reached in to unclip it. It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it.”
The Instagram post continues defending the rescue and even talks about a safety act.
“The fact that, despite our intense safety protocols and excellent record of safety, an injury like this can occur just confirms the inherent danger in dealing with these animals.”
This is “why we need the Big Cat Public Safety Act to eliminate having them untracked in backyards around the country.”