The 8-year-old tiger was shot to death shortly after
The man, who had put his hand inside the tiger’s enclosure, was seen lying outside the cage in the zoo around 6:30 pm on Wednesday evening as the big cat tried to pull him in by grabbing his arm.
Bodycam footage from the sheriff’s office showed police officials running towards the spot of the incident.
An official answering the call asked the man if he was in the cage.
“No. I’m just outside of it. He’s got my hand,” the man, wincing in pain, is heard answering the call.
Officials said that the man had called 911 after he was stuck outside the cage.
“Okay. The tiger has your hand?” the official is heard asking the man.
“Yes, please help me,” he replies.
As the officials reach the spot and see the man dangling out of the cage by his bloodied arm as the tiger grips it with his jaw.
“I’m going to die,” the man cries out.
“Do you got a tranquilliser,” an official asks as they attempt to free the man from the animal’s mouth.
The 8-year-old tiger, an endangered species, was shot to death shortly after by the officials.
According to reports, the worker breached a barrier to enter the compound which houses the tiger’s cage.
After the rescue, the man, identified as 26-year-old River Rosenquist, was airlifted from the area to a hospital and is reported to be in a recovering condition.
He was recruited by the zoo with help from a third-party cleaning service.
However, it remains unclear why he entered in such close proximity to the tiger as the cleaning company is only required to clean restrooms and the gift shop.
Animal enclosures are not covered under their area of work, the zoo officials said.
Authorities at the Naples Zoo had to shut down the park for the day.
The man is believed to have been either petting or feeding the big cat, both of which are unauthorised and dangerous activities, according to a report by the CBS.