The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the man, believed to be in his 20s, was seriously injured Wednesday night as he entered an unauthorized area near the tiger’s enclosure in the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens.
The man works for a third-party cleaning service that is contracted to clean toilets and the gift shop, the sheriff’s office said.
News media reported that the eight-year-old tiger named Eko later died.
The zoo wrote on its website that it will remain closed on Thursday.
“Preliminary information indicates that the man either petted or fed the animal, both of which are unauthorized and dangerous activities,” the sheriff’s report said.
Investigators said they believe the tiger grabbed the man’s arm after he broke a barrier fence and stuck his arm through the fence around the fence.
The first deputy who arrived at the scene kicked the fence to try to get the tiger to free the man’s arm from its mouth.
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“But the deputy was forced to shoot the animal,” the report said.
The man was taken to a hospital in nearby Fort Myers, officials said.
His name was not released and his condition was not known Thursday.
According to the sheriff’s office, the tiger withdrew from his enclosure after being shot. Deputies flew a drone inside and found that the tiger was not responding.
A veterinarian later stunned the tiger and had planned to examine the animal, the report said.
On Tuesday, the zoo’s Facebook page contained a picture of Eko.
The Malaysian tiger is one of the smallest tiger species found throughout the southern and central Malaysian peninsula and southern parts of Thailand, according to Malaysian wildlife.
It is Malaysia’s national symbol.
In 2016, a Malaysian tiger attacked and killed a pet sitter at the Palm Beach Zoo. An autopsy showed that Stacey Konwiser, 38, died of a broken spine, a torn neck and other neck injuries when she was attacked by the 12-year-old tiger named Hati.