Critically Endangered Tiger Killed at Florida Zoo – Cleaning Employee Attacked After Entering Unauthorized Area
According to reports, a tiger at a Florida zoo was shot and killed by a deputy after an attack occurred on a cleaning employee. Preliminary details say that the cleaning company employee had entered an unauthorized part of the zoo which led to the attack and eventual killing of the animal.
A contracted cleaning worker was airlifted to the hospital after being attacked by a tiger at the Naples Zoo in Florida per reports. The report goes on to say that authorities noted the worker jumped over a barrier and went towards the tiger's enclosure. The man apparently put his hand into the enclosure to either pet or feed the animal. This is when the Tiger, named Eko, bit the worker's arm.
A deputy on the scene reportedly attempted to bang on the enclosure to encourage the tiger to let go of the man's arm, but the efforts were ineffective. This is when the deputy shot the tiger, which led to Eko's eventual death.
The worker who was attacked by the tiger was not employed by the zoo directly, but was instead working for a third-party cleaning company that was tasked with cleaning areas like the gift shop and bathrooms. The cleaning company was in no way supposed to enter any animal enclosure per the report.
The victim of the attack was a male in his twenties and has serious injuries as a result of the incident.
The Malayan tiger is considered a "critically endangered" species. Eko was reportedly one of less than 200 Malayan tigers left in the world. Eko was 8-years-old and the Naples Zoo had recently shared photos of him on Instagram which you can see below.
Instances of animals at zoos dying as a result of human-error has become an all-too familiar story. How could anyone forget the tragic story of Harambe, a silverback gorilla who was killed after a young child fell into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Many on social media have voiced their opinions on this incident in particular and you can see reactions to the story via Twitter here.
It's sad enough that any animal had to die as a result of a human being somewhere they weren't supposed to be, but to add on that Eko was one of less than 200 Malayan Tigers left on this earth is so devastating for animal lovers. While we of course hope that the victim of the attack is doing alright, preliminary details make it seem like this situation was totally avoidable.
Many of those animal lovers are flocking to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens Facebook page to express their feelings in the comment section of a post that includes a photo of Eko. See that post here.
See the full report from @Complex via Twitter below.
Further details from NBC2 News on YouTube here.