NAPLES, Fla. (WJW/AP) — Authorities say a sheriff’s deputy shot a Malayan tiger that grabbed the arm of a man who was either feeding or petting the animal near its enclosure at a Florida zoo.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the man was seriously injured Wednesday evening when he entered an unauthorized area at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. The man works for a third-party cleaning service.
News outlets report that the 8-year-old tiger named Eko later died.
Investigators say the man breached a barrier fence and put his arm through the fence surrounding the tiger enclosure.
In a statement on its website, the Naples Zoo said it would be closed Thursday to allow officials to complete their investigation late into the evening Wednesday.
The statement went on to say:
“This decision was also made to allow the Zoo to begin its own internal investigation and to allow our staff to process what has occurred and to begin the painful healing process. A grief counselor will be available for staff beginning today. We will reopen at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) and we thank our community for their understanding and for the messages and words of encouragement and support that have been flowing into us.”