A tiger was shot dead at a zoo in Florida, USA after it bit the arm of a man that was trying to pet him.
According to multiple reports, the worker had breached a barrier to enter the compound, which was the home of the tiger.
A report by ABC News, they said that the incident happened on December 29, 2021, at the Naples Zoo in Florida.
The maintenance worker, 26-year old River Rosenquist, called 911 for help and a deputy arrived at the zoo at around 6:30pm that day.
The authorities said they were forced to shoot the Malaysian tiger in an attempt to get the animal to release the arm of the man.
In bodycam footage, Rosenquist was heard shouting in pain.
An official answering the call asked the man if he was in the cage, to which the man said “no, im outside but he’s got my hand”.
The officials found the man dangling out of the cage by his bloodied arm, which was still inside the mouth of the tiger.
The tiger had to be shot to get the arm of the maintenance cleaner out.
Rosenquist was airlifted to the hospital.
The Lee Memorial Hospital Emergency Department confirmed the news and said that they received a patient via a medical helicopter from Naples Zoo with tiger-caused injuries on their arm.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office released a statement about the incident, saying:
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.
Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk released a statement about the incident, saying:
Our deputy did everything he could do in that situation and he ultimately made the only possible decision he could in order to save this man’s life. This was a tragic encounter at our world-class zoo facility. We value our community partnership with the Naples Zoo and their focus on conservation and education.
The cleaner is also likely to face criminal charges for doing such a thing.
Eco, the tiger that was killed, was part of a critically endangered species at the zoo.
On the official website of the zoo, they call Eko as:
Eko is a great ambassador for his species. When guests see him, we hope they fall in love and want to learn how they can do their part to save his cousins in the wild.
May Eko rest in peace.