A Florida veteran zookeeper, known as the “Tiger Whisperer,” was mauled to death by one of the zoo’s Malayan tigers on Friday.
WSVN-TV reports that Stacey Konwiser, 38, was inside the tiger’s enclosure where she was preforming some last-minute preparations before giving a talk to the zoo’s guests. One of the male tigers attacked Konwiser shorty before 1:45, but West Palm Beach Police Department said that they were forced to wait to get medical aid to the zookeeper until a tranquilizer took effect.
Palm Beach zoo officials said that the tiger never escaped the enclosure and none of the guests were “in jeopardy.”
“The zoo has a safety protocol in place for crisis situations and these protocols were employed today,” Naki Carter, zoo’s spokesperson said.
“We want to underscore that at no time was the public at any risk. The zoo immediately went into lockdown mode. Guests were never in danger at any time.”
Konwiser was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center by helicopter where she was listed in critical condition before she later succumbed to her injuries.
“She is someone that absolutely loved everything that had to do with keeping these tigers and seeing that they were enriched daily,” Carter said. “And I know that just her love for them — if you knew her, then you knew about her love for these creatures.”
— New Day (@NewDay) April 16, 2016