A tiger at Florida’s Naples Zoo was fatally shot after attacking a man on December 29, local media reported.
The man was a member of “a third-party cleaning service contracted by the zoo” and entered an unauthorized area near the tiger’s enclosure, officials said. The man put his arm through the fencing of the enclosure and was petting or feeding the tiger, initial reports indicated. The tiger “grabbed the man’s arm and pulled it into the enclosure,” the Collier County Sheriff’s Office reported.
A sheriff’s deputy shot the tiger after trying to force it to release the man’s arm by kicking the enclosure. The eight-year-old Malayan tiger was sedated and died after it “retreated to the back of the enclosure,” local enforcement reported.
The man was hospitalized with serious injuries, reports said.
The tiger was identified as Eko by local media. This footage was published by Twitter user @Lizzie_Hauer24, and shows Eko interacting with a zookeeper on November 28, a month before his death. Credit: @Lizzie_Hauer24 via Storyful