Man called 911 after sticking his hand through bars of cage
Die man, identified as a member of the contract cleaning staff at Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, had reportedly breached a barrier to get close to the enclosure, in what auithorities believe was an attempt to pet or feed the animal.
Following a frantic 911 call from the man, who begged for help and told authorities the tiger “has my hand”, ‘Eko’ the tiger was shot dead by a Collier County Sheriff’s Deputy.
However the actions that saved the man have been called into question, with the zoo facing a backlash on social media – including calls for patrons to boycott the zoo over the death of the male tiger.
Posting on the Facebook page of the Naples Daily News, which reported the story, Allan Bradley commented: “Justice for Eko! Shut down Naples Zoo! Shame on the Sheriff’s Department! This was and endangered species. He did nothing wrong.”
Another reader, Syazwan Hj Shah, geskryf het: “Please closed the zoo.”
“If an animal can’t be an animal, zoos shouldn’t have them, BOYCOTT THIS HAS TO STOP HERE. RIDICULOUS. Zoo director needs (om te wees) fired,” added Patricia Jenkins.
Other Facebook users suggested the man should have been left to fend for himself after entering the enclosure, while numerous people commented it would be the end of the tiger programme at the facility.
Commenting on the situation, Collier County Sheriff’s Office posted: “Preliminary information indicates that the man was either petting or feeding the animal, both of which are unauthorized and dangerous activities.
“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.
“Deputies were called to the Zoo at 6:26 nm. 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. Die man, who is in his 20s, was seriously injured and was transported to an area hospital by Collier County EMS as a trauma alert.”
Footage released after the incident showed the man shouting for help after the tiger grabbed his arm. Hy het aan die 911 dispatcher he believed he was going to die during the incident.