Tiger Killed After Attacking Florida Zoo Worker Who Entered Enclosure

by Michael Freeman

A tiger reportedly attacked a Florida zoo maintenance worker after he entered its enclosure. To save the worker, authorities shot and killed the enclosed animal.

ABC News reported the story, stating it happened at the Naples Zoo yesterday after it closed to the public. The zoo contracts a cleaning service to clean the facility’s restrooms and gift shops, but not the animal enclosures. Nonetheless, the cleaning worker there that night “entered an unauthorized area near a tiger that was inside its enclosure,” the Collier County Sheriff’s Office stated. The male Malayan tiger inside then attacked him. After a deputy responded to the incident around 6:30 p.m., they were forced to shoot the huge cat to help the man.

The man, who is in his 20s, was either petting or feeding a male Malayan tiger. It should be noted both of these are classified as unauthorized and dangerous activities. “Initial reports indicate that the tiger grabbed the man’s arm and pulled it into the enclosure after the man traversed an initial fence barrier and put his arm through the fencing of the tiger enclosure,” the office said.

When the deputy arrived, they found the man’s arm in the tiger’s mouth. They kicked the enclosure to try and prompt the tiger to release his arm, but to no avail. It was then the deputy was “forced” to shoot the animal, authorities stated. The cleaner suffered serious injuries and authorities transported him to Lee Memorial Hospital Emergency Department.

The zoo will reopen on Friday, sources report.

Man Ditches Car to Confront 11 Zoo Tigers

In a similarly dangerous situation a few months ago while visiting the zoo, a man left his car to provoke 11 tigers.

On October 23 this year, a man on a self-driving tour decided to leave his car and confront 11 tigers. Despite the staff desperately trying to return him to his vehicle, he approached the animals. Later identified as “Jiang,” he tried getting the tigers’ attention with words and large gestures, according to The Sun. Curious onlookers stopped to watch and help, with some of them even obtaining footage of the event.

Beijing Wildlife Park immediately called the police and distracted the tigers by throwing meat until they arrived. Fortunately, police arrived in time to detain Jiang and the tigers didn’t harm anyone during the encounter. The zoo claims for instances like this, the park is “equipped with in-depth concealed safety methods which prevent tourists from getting too close to animals.”