I'm serious. We just need one big thread for big cat attacks. Like the Duggar thread.
Zookeeper dies after tiger attack at Palm Beach Zoo
Posted: Apr 15, 2016 2:13 PM CDTUpdated: Apr 15, 2016 4:28 PM CDT
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A zookeeper has died after a tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo reportedly mauled her, according to West Palm Beach police.
According to zoo officials, a male Malayan tiger mauled and killed a longtime zookeeper, shortly after 1:45 p.m. She reportedly worked closely with the zoo's tigers, alongside her husband, who worked at the zoo as well.
Naki Carter, a zoo spokesperson, said the tiger was not on exhibit and that "no guests or visitors were ever in jeopardy." She also added that the tiger never escaped from its enclosed habitat, which is private area where the tigers eat and sleep and is closed off to the public.
The zookeeper was inside the habitat doing what they call "basic tasks" before a 2 p.m. tiger show, which is something zookeepers, including the victim, do every day. They said she has always had a passion for tigers, but they do not know what transpired to lead to the tragic incident.
The zoo, however, was placed on lockdown and about 25 zoo guests were told to barricade themselves at a gift shop as a precaution. A zoo guest explained the moment he learned of the incident. "We were on a train ride in the zoo and the guy got radio-ed saying there was a tiger loose, and he was obviously worried," he said, "so we kind of just strolled along. We didn't think anything of it, and then, the next thing we know, we're getting rushed into the gift shop."
The West Palm Beach Police Department said they tranquilized the tiger had to wait for the tranquilizer to take effect before they could safely render aid to the victim.
Once the tiger was tranquilized, the zookeeper was airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach where she was pronounced dead.
Carter described the zookeeper as someone who loved her work and loved the tigers. "She is someone that absolutely loved everything that had to do with keeping these tigers and seeing that they were enriched daily," she said, "and I know that just her love for them, if you knew her, then you knew about her love for these creatures."
According to zoo officials, the zoo was shortly cleared of all employees and guests once the lockdown was removed. The zoo will remain closed until Sunday to allow for an investigation.
Malayan tigers are considered an endangered species, and only 250 remain in the world. The tiger is one of the four Malayan tigers that are kept at the zoo.
Zookeeper dies after tiger attack at Palm Beach Zoo - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco