A cleaning worker who was bitten by an endangered tiger at a Florida zoo after putting his arm into the enclosure could be criminally charged, police have said.

Eko, an eight-year-old Malayan, was fatally shot by responding officers at Naples Zoo when it would not release the man’s arm from its jaws.

Horrific bodycam footage shows contract cleaner River Rosenquist, 26, bloodied and on the ground next to the enclosure as he screams out: ‘Please help me! Please help me! Oh my God! Shoot it! I’m going to die!’

After being shot the tiger let go of Rosenquist and retreated into its enclosure where it was later pronounced dead. The cleaner was taken to hospital on a trauma alert. 

In a statement issued Thursday, Collier County Sheriff’s Office said they would determine whether charges would be filed against the injured worker, but it did not say what the charges could be.

‘Preliminary information indicates that the man was either petting or feeding the animal, both of which are unauthorized and dangerous activities,’ it read.

‘An investigation will determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Rosenquist.’

Police body camera video shows the horrific moment a Florida cop shot and killed a tiger after it seized the arm of a zoo cleaner River Rosenquist, 26, who tried to pet and feed it

Police body camera video shows the horrific moment a Florida cop shot and killed a tiger after it seized the arm of a zoo cleaner River Rosenquist, 26, who tried to pet and feed it

Police body camera video shows the horrific moment a Florida cop shot and killed a tiger after it seized the arm of a zoo cleaner River Rosenquist, 26, who tried to pet and feed it

Officials added that the cleaning company Rosenquist works for is ‘responsible for cleaning restrooms and the gift shop, not the animal enclosures’. 

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk was forced to defend the decision of his deputy to fatally shoot tiger Eko, saying it was the ‘only possible decision’ as the animal would not let go of Rosenquist’s arm.

Body camera video released Thursday shows a deputy asking if a tranquilizer is available and being told no, and unsuccessful efforts to distract the animal before the officer fires.

‘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. 

Naples Zoo marketing director Courtney Jolly said that that when the zoo is open there is a team present that includes a shooter and lead darter, but the zoo was not open when the attack occurred.

Footage shows Collier County sheriff’s deputies try kicking the enclosure where Eko was housed in an attempt to get the animal to free the worker.

Eko (pictured), an eight-year-old Malayan tiger, was killed Wednesday night after a deputy struck him with a single shot

Eko (pictured), an eight-year-old Malayan tiger, was killed Wednesday night after a deputy struck him with a single shot

Eko (pictured), an eight-year-old Malayan tiger, was killed Wednesday night after a deputy struck him with a single shot

After an unsuccessful attempt, the deputy – believing he had no other options – fired a single shot at the tiger in an attempt to save Rosenquist’s life. 

Eko could be heart grunting around the time the fatal shot was fired, then retreated to the rear of the enclosure where he died. 

Deputies were called to the zoo around 6.26pm Wednesday after Rosenquist violated the park’s rules by entering the tiger enclosure.

Preliminary investigation revealed he was supposed to be cleaning the restrooms and gift shop when he decided to enter an unauthorized area of the tiger enclosure and stuck his hand through. 

He appeared to be either petting or feeding the tiger, both of which police say are ‘unauthorized and dangerous activities’.  

Eko then grabbed his arm and attempted to pull him into the enclosure, prompting authorities authorities to step in. 

Video shows Rosenquist, of Naples, bloodied and on the ground at the Naples Zoo tiger enclosure as he screams out in pain: 'Please help me! Please help me!'

Video shows Rosenquist, of Naples, bloodied and on the ground at the Naples Zoo tiger enclosure as he screams out in pain: 'Please help me! Please help me!'

Video shows Rosenquist, of Naples, bloodied and on the ground at the Naples Zoo tiger enclosure as he screams out in pain: ‘Please help me! Please help me!’

Rosenquist appeared to be either petting or feeding the tiger, both of which police say are 'unauthorized and dangerous activities'

Rosenquist appeared to be either petting or feeding the tiger, both of which police say are 'unauthorized and dangerous activities'

Rosenquist appeared to be either petting or feeding the tiger, both of which police say are ‘unauthorized and dangerous activities’

Collier County sheriff's deputies tried kicking the enclosure, where Eko was housed, in an attempt to free the worker. However, their attempts were unsuccessful

Collier County sheriff's deputies tried kicking the enclosure, where Eko was housed, in an attempt to free the worker. However, their attempts were unsuccessful

Collier County sheriff’s deputies tried kicking the enclosure, where Eko was housed, in an attempt to free the worker. However, their attempts were unsuccessful

‘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,’ Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said in a press release.

‘This was a tragic encounter at our world-class zoo facility. We value our community partnership with the Naples Zoo and their focus on conservation and education.’  

Rosenquist was seriously injured during the incident and to a nearby hospital for treatment. His current condition remains unknown.

After the shooting, deputies flew a drone over the enclosure, attempting to determine Eko’s injuries, and found him unresponsive.

A zoo veterinarian tranquilized the tiger and entered the enclosure to assess his injuries. 

Preliminary investigation revealed Rosenquist was supposed to be cleaning the restrooms and gift shop when he decided to enter an unauthorized area of the tiger enclosure and stuck his hand through

Preliminary investigation revealed Rosenquist was supposed to be cleaning the restrooms and gift shop when he decided to enter an unauthorized area of the tiger enclosure and stuck his hand through

Preliminary investigation revealed Rosenquist was supposed to be cleaning the restrooms and gift shop when he decided to enter an unauthorized area of the tiger enclosure and stuck his hand through

After the shooting, deputies flew a drown over the enclosure, attempting to determine Eko's injuries, and found him unresponsive. A zoo veterinarian later determined he had died from his injuries

After the shooting, deputies flew a drown over the enclosure, attempting to determine Eko's injuries, and found him unresponsive. A zoo veterinarian later determined he had died from his injuries

After the shooting, deputies flew a drown over the enclosure, attempting to determine Eko’s injuries, and found him unresponsive. A zoo veterinarian later determined he had died from his injuries

The Collier County Sheriff's Office is working with state and federal prosecutors to investigate the incident and determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Rosenquist. Officials also note he is employed by a third-party cleaning service and not a member of zoo staff

The Collier County Sheriff's Office is working with state and federal prosecutors to investigate the incident and determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Rosenquist. Officials also note he is employed by a third-party cleaning service and not a member of zoo staff

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is working with state and federal prosecutors to investigate the incident and determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Rosenquist. Officials also note he is employed by a third-party cleaning service and not a member of zoo staff

The animal medical expert determined Eko had died from his injuries.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is working with state and federal prosecutors to investigate the incident and determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Rosenquist.

Officials also note the cleaner is employed by a third-party cleaning service and not a member of zoo staff. 

It remains unclear what company he works for or if the organization will take disciplinary action. 

Source: dailymail

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