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A tiger at a Florida zoo was shot and killed by a deputy on Wednesday night after the animal bit a maintenance worker who entered an unauthorized area near the animal’s enclosure, authorities and a report said.

The cleaning worker, a man in his 20s employed by a third-party contractor of Naples Zoo, was either trying to pet or feed the 8-year-old Malayan tiger when it grabbed his arm and yanked him into the enclosure, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The worker tried to pet or feed Eko when the tiger grabbed his arm at Naples Zoo, according to police.
The worker tried to pet or feed Eko when the tiger grabbed his arm at Naples Zoo, according to police.
WBBH-TV

Authorities were called to the scene at about 6:30 p.m., and the first deputy to arrive kicked the enclosure in a failed bid to get the tiger to release the worker, the sheriff’s office said.

Afterward, “the deputy was forced to shoot the animal,” the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Eko was an 8-year-old Malayan tiger, who arrived at Naples Zoo in 2019.
Eko was an 8-year-old Malayan tiger, who arrived at Naples Zoo in 2019.
Naples Zoo/Handout via REUTERS

The tiger, named Eko, later died, according to NBC 2.

The worker suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital.

Authorities said the employee was tasked with cleaning the zoo’s bathrooms and the gift shop, not animal enclosures.

Source: NYPOST

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