TAMPA, Fla. (UPI) — A volunteer was seriously injured by a tiger at a Florida animal sanctuary run by Tiger King star Carole Baskin on Thursday.
In a Facebook post, Big Cat Rescue wrote that a tiger named Kimba grabbed volunteer Candy Crouser’s arm and “nearly tore it off at the shoulder” after she reached into an area where the tiger was being held.
The sanctuary said Crouser noticed Kimba was locked in a section away from where he was usually fed and radioed to a coordinator to find out why. Before help arrived, she opened a guillotine tunnel door and saw a second door was clipped shut, which the sanctuary described as “a universal signal NOT to open a gate without the coordinator coming up to assist.”
Upon attempting to unclip the door, Kimba grabbed Crouser’s arm, which Big Cat Rescue said was normal behavior “due to the presence of food and the opportunity.”
“It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it,” the sanctuary said.
Another member of the staff arrived in the area and Kimba dropped his grip. Staff members attempted to stop Crouser’s bleeding and used a belt as a tourniquet while calling for an ambulance.
Crouser was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Kimba was placed in quarantine for 30 days as a precaution, although the sanctuary said Crouser requested that no harm come to the tiger due to the incident.
Big Cat Rescue said volunteers and staff met to discuss the incident, adding grief counseling is available for those impacted by the event.
Reporting by Daniel Uria
United Press International is an international news agency whose newswires, photo, news film, and audio services provided news material to thousands of newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations for most of the 20th century.