Health and Fitness

Tiger mauls Florida man at airboat attraction, authorities say


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A tiger mauled a Florida worker Tuesday afternoon at an airboat attraction, according to authorities. 

In a Facebook post detailing the incident, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk wrote that his office was “having a hard time comprehending” the attack. 

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The sheriff’s deputies reportedly responded to a tiger attack at Wooten’s Airboats at 32300 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee in the Everglades area at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET. 

“Preliminary (very) info indicates a tiger in an enclosure at that location was being fed by its caretaker when a 50-year-old male, an employee of Wooten’s who was not authorized to be with the tiger, entered the tiger’s enclosure,” Rambosk explained. The tiger attacked the man and caused injuries to both arms. The man has been transported to a hospital by EMS.”

A tiger in a park

A tiger in a park
(iStock)

The tiger was not injured and its caretaker was able to safely contain the animal. 

Officials did not immediately disclose the man’s condition. 

According to the Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours website, the attraction includes an animal sanctuary that features two tigers, two lions, otters, turtles, crocodiles and alligators.

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In late December, a custodial worker was mauled by a tiger at Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens after entering an unauthorized area. 

A Collier County deputy shot 8-year-old Eko as his jaws were wrapped around the man’s arm.

According to The Naples Daily News, the sheriff’s office announced in February that the man – identified as 26-year-old River Rosenquist – would not face criminal charges in the death of the endangered Malayan tiger. 

“After a thorough investigation of the incident and after consulting experts in state and federal criminal law and the prosecution of same, it has been concluded that there are no applicable existing laws with which to charge Mr. River Rosenquist for his irresponsible acts that ultimately caused the death of Eko the tiger,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Feb. 4 Facebook post. “Simply put, there are no laws on the books that apply to this reckless act. We know this will be very difficult for everyone to understand. It is difficult for us to comprehend.”

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Rambosk said then that he was “frustrated and even angered” that there was no existing criminal law that applied to the “tragic situation.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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