Man attacked by tiger after reaching the fence at Florida Zoo; animals killed by the authorities

The Malaysian tiger was shot during the incident.

A maintenance worker was hospitalized with serious injuries after entering an unauthorized area of ​​a Florida zoo and being attacked by a tiger, authorities said. The tiger was then shot and killed by responding authorities to free the man from the animal’s jaws.

The incident happened Wednesday at the Naples Zoo after it was closed to the public, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said.

A member of a cleaning service that zoologically has a contract to clean toilets and the gift shop, but not the animal enclosures, had “entered an unauthorized area near a tiger inside its enclosure,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The man, who is in his 20s, may have been petting or feeding a Malaysian handyman, “both of which are unauthorized and dangerous activities” when the attack took place, the sheriff’s office said.

“Initial reports suggest the tiger grabbed the man’s arm and pulled it into the enclosure after the man crossed an initial fence barrier and put his arm through the enclosure of the tiger enclosure,” the office said.

A deputy responded at the zoo around 6.30pm and found the man with his arm in the tiger’s mouth. The deputy kicked the fence in an attempt to get the tiger to drop his arm, but was “forced” to shoot the animal, authorities said.

The cleaner suffered serious injuries and was transported to an area hospital, authorities say. Lee Memorial Hospital Emergency Department confirmed to ABC News that it had received a patient via medical helicopter from Naples with injuries related to a tiger attack.

The Malaysian tiger, which is a critically endangered species, was killed in the shooting, according to a zoo spokesman. The animal withdrew to the back of the enclosure after it was shot, and did not respond after authorities flew a drone in.

A veterinarian anesthetized the animal and examined it “when it [was] safe to do so, “said the sheriff’s office.

The 8-year-old tiger, which has been zoologically confirmed, was named Eko, came to Naples Zoo from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle in December 2019 and was introduced in February 2020. “Eko is a great ambassador for his species. When guests see him, we hope , they fall in love and want to learn how to do their part to save his cousins ​​in the wild, “says the zoo on its website.

Napoli Zoo told ABC News they had no further comment on the attack.

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