COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – A deputy shot a tiger at the Naples Zoo that was biting a man who entered an unauthorized area on Wednesday, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said after the zoo closed on Wednesday, an employee of a third-party cleaning service contracted by the zoo was bitten by a tiger after he entered an unauthorized area near the animal inside its enclosure.
Investigators said the cleaning company is responsible for cleaning the restrooms and gift shop and not the animal enclosures.
Deputies said preliminary information shows the man was either petting or feeding the animal.
This is not authorized by the zoo.
The initial report shows the tiger grabbed the man’s arm and pulled it into the enclosure after the man moved past an initial fence barrier, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office said he put his arm through the fencing of the tiger enclosure.
Online records show investigators responded to the zoo at 6:26 p.m. and the first deputy at the scene kicked the enclosure and attempted to get the tiger to release the man’s arm from the animal’s mouth.
CCSO said the deputy was forced to shoot the tiger.
Deputies said the man bitten by the tiger was seriously injured and rushed to a local hospital as a trauma alert.
Investigators said the 8-year-old Malayan tiger later died from the deputy’s shot.