A man who reached into an enclosure in an attempt to feed and pet Eko, A Malayan tiger at the Naples Zoo in Florida, was attacked instead.
According to Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the man attacked was in his 20’s and worked as a member of a third-party cleaning service at the zoo when he decided to enter an unauthorized area near Eko.
The man was either petting or feeding the animal through the fence when the tiger grabbed his arm and pulled it into the enclosure, the sheriff’s office said.
When deputies arrived at the zoo at 6:30 p.m, one deputy tried to get the tiger to release the man’s arm by kicking the enclosure, but the deputy shot the tiger when that didn’t seem to work. They transported the man who was seriously injured to the hospital.
“I can only confirm that we are treating someone who was attacked by a tiger,” said Mary Briggs, system director for strategic communications for Lee Health. “I don’t know where the person was attacked.”
Eko was the Naples Zoo’s, only tiger. According to the Zoo’s website, Malayan tigers are critically endangered species, with fewer than 200 left in the wild.