Big Cat Rescue in Tampa reported today that a 5-year volunteer at the compound was attacked by a tiger.
The volunteer, Candy Couser, was feeding was feeding Kimba Tiger.
According to Big Cat Rescue:
She saw that he was locked in a section that was away from where he was usually fed and radioed the coordinator to find out why. Kimba had been locked away from that section for several days as cameras were being installed there. She opened a guillotine tunnel door at one end of the tunnel, and when she went to raise the second door she saw it was clipped shut. This is our universal signal NOT to open a gate without the coordinator coming to assist, but Candy said she just wasn’t thinking when she reached in to unclip it. It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it. Kimba grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder.
A belt was used as a tourniquet and Couser was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Carole Baskin with Big Cat Rescue said this sort of tragedy can happen in the blink of an eye and that we cannot relax our guard for a second around these dangerous cats.
Kimba is a 3-year-old tiger who has been at the park for just more than a year. He was rescued from a circus in Guatemala.