According to Collier County deputies, the man was part of a cleaning crew only authorized to clean the restrooms and gift shop, not the tiger’s enclosure where the attack occurred.
Initial reports say the tiger grabbed the man’s arm and pulled it into the enclosure after the man put his arm through a fence. Deputies say it appears the man was either feeding or petting the animal.
WINK reports, according to officials, the man, who is likely in his 20s, was either petting or feeding the tiger when it grabbed his arm and pulled him into the enclosure.
When deputies responded to the zoo, they found the tiger with the man’s arm still in its mouth. They kicked the fencing to try to get the tiger to release the man, but they were forced to shoot the tiger. The tiger later passed away.
The man was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.