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A 50-year-old worker at a Florida animal sanctuary was attacked by a tiger Tuesday afternoon after entering the animal’s enclosure near the Everglades, authorities said.

The employee, who doesn’t have authorization to be with the tiger, was attacked as the animal was being fed by its caretaker at Wooten’s Airboats in Ochopee at about 4:30 p.m., according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The man suffered injuries to both arms in the attack and was treated at a local hospital.

The sheriff’s office said the tiger was not injured.

A man was attacked by one of two tigers at an animal sanctuary in Florida.
A man was attacked by one of two tigers at an animal sanctuary in Florida.
WINK News

The tiger is a part of the animal sanctuary located at Wooten’s Airboats. There are two tigers on-site among hundreds of other animals including a pair of lions and crocodiles, according to the company’s website.

PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler said the incident “could easily have turned deadly.”

“But as long as the public believes it can ever be safe to pet a tiger, harass wild animals, or even step into their enclosures, this will happen again,” Metzler said in a statement.

The incident marks the second time in four months a tiger attacked an intruding worker.

In December, an 8-year-old Malayan tiger bit a Naples Zoo maintenance worker who’d entered an unauthorized area near the animal’s enclosure. A Collier County deputy fatally shot the tiger, named Eko, to rescue the worker.

The worker was later identified as 26-year-old River Rosenquist. He did not face any criminal charges in the tiger’s death.

“We are having a hard time comprehending this happening again,” Collier County police said in a statement.

Wooten’s has yet to comment on the incident.

Source: NYPOST

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