Highly Endangered Tiger Shot After Biting A Man Who Allegedly Entered An 'Unauthorized' Area Of The Animal's Enclosure
An endangered tiger has been killed after biting a man's arm at the Naples Zoo.
Authorities in Florida shot an 8-year-old Malayan tiger named Eko — whose species is on the verge of being extinct — after biting a man who decided to breach entry of the animal's cage without authorization to do so.
The anonymous man reportedly worked for an external cleaning service that is only responsible for cleaning restrooms and the gift shop — not any of the animal enclosures.
“Preliminary information indicates that the man was either petting or feeding the animal, both of which are unauthorized and dangerous activities,” Collier County Sheriff’s Office stated.
"Initial reports indicate that the tiger 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 tiger enclosure," officials stated.
"Deputies were called to the Zoo at 6:26 p.m," the department further explained of the incident. "The first deputy on scene 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 man, who is in his 20s, was seriously injured and was transported to an area hospital by Collier County EMS as a trauma alert," authorities added of the alleged trespasser.
During the encounter, the officer who shot the tiger decided that he had no other choice but to shoot. Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk told affliate NBC2: "Our deputy did everything he could do in that situation and he ultimately made the only possible decision he could in order to save this man’s life."
“This was a tragic encounter at our world-class zoo facility. We value our community partnership with the Naples Zoo and their focus on conservation and education.”