Police say the man “traversed an initial fence barrier and put his arm through the fencing” of the enclosure
A tiger on the critically endangered species list was shot and killed at a zoo in Florida after injuring a cleaner that was either trying to pet or feed it.
The man in his 20s was seriously injured by the tiger named Eko after he entered an unauthorized area of the tiger enclosure at the Naples Zoo, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The attack happened after the zoo had closed on Wednesday.
Police say the man was part of a cleaning crew contracted by the zoo.
“Initial reports indicate that the tiger grabbed the man’s arm and pulled it into the enclosure after the the man traversed an initial fence barrier and put his arm through the fencing of the tiger enclosure,” the police statement said.
An officer who responded to the attack “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 was taken to a local hospital for trauma treatment.
Police said Eko, an eight-year-old male Malayan tiger, “retreated to the back of the enclosure after it was shot.” A veterinarian sedated the animal and it later died.
According to the World Wildlife Federation, fewer than 200 Malayan tigers exist in the wild.