A man who worked as a cleaner at the Naples Zoo in Florida was seriously injured Wednesday when a tiger bit his hand as he entered a restricted area and entered an animal enclosure, officials said.
The first sheriff’s officer to visit the zoo kicked the tiger’s block and tried to free the man’s hand from the animal’s mouth, but the Malayan tiger was “forced to shoot,” according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
An 8-year-old tiger named Ego, which was purchased in December 2019, has died, according to the zoo.
The 20-year-old was taken to a hospital by Collier County emergency services, the sheriff’s office said.
A spokesman for Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers confirmed Wednesday that it was treating a patient who had been bitten by a tiger, but said no further information could be released.
The sheriff’s office said the man, who worked at a cleaning service hired by the zoo, entered an “unauthorized area” near the LTTE enclosure after the zoo was closed all day. The sheriff’s office said the cleaning company was responsible for cleaning the toilets and gift shop, not the animal enclosures.
“Preliminary reports indicate that man was petting or feeding the animal, both of which are unauthorized and dangerous activities.” The sheriff’s office said.
Citing “initial reports”, the office said the tiger grabbed the man’s hand and dragged him into the enclosure after the man crossed the barrier and put his hand through the fence around the enclosure.
Representatives were invited to the zoo at 6:26 p.m., the office said. The zoo declined to comment beyond sharing the sheriff’s office report.
In February 2020, the Naples Zoo Announced It bought the Ego from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. The zoo said in a statement that it had funded efforts to save wildlife for more than two decades.
Classified as the Malay Tigers Is in critical condition Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are less than 200 animals in the wild, up from 3,000 in the 1950s. World Wildlife Fund.
The fund blamed the loss on habitat due to growth, agricultural expansion and poaching.
In announcing Ego’s welcome, the Naples Zoo called the tiger “the best ambassador for his species” and when visitors saw him, he said, “We hope they fall in love and want to know how they can do their part to save his relatives. The forest.”
Variety of the Naples Zoo, which attracts about 370,000 visitors annually animals, Including African lions, the Florida Panther, black bears, buffalo cheeks gibbon and cloudy leopards.
Tiger attacks on zoos are rare but not unprecedented.
In 2016, A woman was killed in Beijing A tiger jumped from a car at a zoo to save his daughter from a tiger attack, government officials there said.
In 2007, One was killed Also, one tiger at the San Francisco Zoo escaped from its cage shortly after the zoo closed, injuring two more. Police said the tiger was later shot dead by authorities.
The previous year, zoo officials said the same tiger had bitten a guard when at least 50 visitors visited the San Francisco Zoo.
The tiger reached the iron bars of its enclosure and grabbed both front paws of the zoo shortly after public feeding, in which guards would usually provide reinforced horse meat through a small slot, zoo officials said.