Worker Attacked By Tiger At Florida Zoo Could Face Charges

Authorities in Florida suggested that a worker attacked by a tiger at the Naples Zoo could face charges. A Collier County sheriff’s deputy was forced to shoot and kill the eight-year-old Malayan tiger named Eko after it refused to let go of the worker’s arm.

The man, identified as 26-year-old River Rosenquist, worked for a cleaning company and was responsible for cleaning the bathrooms and the zoo’s gift shop. He was not authorized to be near the tiger enclosure. Officials said that he breached one of the barriers and then stuck his hand through the fence before Eko bit him.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said that his deputy asked if there were tranquilizer darts but was told there weren’t. After several failed attempts to distract Eko and get it to release the man, the officer fatally shot the animal.

“Our deputy did everything he could do in that situation, and he ultimately made the only possible decision he could in order to save this man’s life,” Rambosk said in a statement.

Rosenquist was rushed to the hospital in serious condition. Officials have not provided an update on his status since Wednesday (December 29).

Pamella Seay, a law professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, told WBBH that Rosenquist could face felony charges because Malayan tigers are considered an endangered species.

“Depending on how they would charge, it theoretically could be a third-degree felony,” said Seay.

“We look at the value of the animal, and that animal has an astronomical value. it is irreplaceable,” Seay added. “We also look at the protection of endangered species here in Florida, which is also an added elevated level.”

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