An eight-year-old Malayan tiger in a Naples, Florida zoo was shot and killed after grabbing the arm of a cleaner and dragging it into the tiger’s enclosure Wednesday evening, the zoo says.
The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens says it was closed for the day when the man, who works for a cleaning service, “entered an unauthorized area near a tiger that was inside its enclosure. The cleaning company is responsible for cleaning restrooms and the gift shop, not the animal enclosures.”
According to the zoo, the man was either petting or feeding the tiger, named Eko, “both of which are unauthorized and dangerous activities.”
The zoo said early reports were that Eko 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 enclosure.
Deputies were called at 6:26 p.m. The first one “kicked the enclosure and tried to get the tiger to release the man’s arm from its mouth but the deputy was forced to shoot the animal,” the zoo said.
In a statement Thursday. Naples Zoo said the zoo would be closed for internal investigation and to begin the “painful healing” process.
In July a Florida man in his 20’s, was hospitalized after jumping over a barrier at the ‘Range of the Jaguar’ exhibit located inside of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and then inserting his hand into the big cat’s enclosure.
The jaguar then clawed the man’s arm, leaving behind a trail of blood and landing the man in the hospital.
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