WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A female volunteer was seriously injured after her arm was bitten by a tiger at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue n Florida.
- The sanctuary became popular because of the Netflix series Tiger King.
- The incident came on the same day the bill for the Big Cat Public Safety Act was scheduled for voting.
There is a signal used in Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Florida: When a gate is clipped shut, DO NOT ENTER OR STICK OUT ANY PART OF YOUR BODY IN.
Carole Baskin, chief executive of the sanctuary said, “This is our universal signal NOT to open a gate” without assistance. It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it.”
This might have escaped the female volunteer’s mind when in her regular feeding schedule, she reached in to open a gate that was clipped shut when she saw that the tiger Kimba was not in his usual location.
This was when “Kimba grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder,” added Baskin.
Candy Couser has been regularly feeding big cats at the sanctuary. Staff and other volunteers worked hard to stop her bleeding before she was taken to the hospital shortly after.
As for the tiger, Baskin said that Kimba was “just acting normal due to the presence of food and the opportunity” and will be placed on quarantine for the next 30 days. She added that Couser did not want Kimba to suffer any consequences after what happened.
Baskin has been championing the Big Cat Public Safety Act that was scheduled to be voted on the same day that the incident happened. The act would ban personal possession of big cats in places such as backyards and the handling of big cat cubs.
Baskin said, “This sort of tragedy can happen in the blink of an eye and we cannot relax our guard for a second around these dangerous cats.”
Baskin and Don Lewis founded the sanctuary in the 1990s. In 1997, Lewis disappeared which left Baskin to handle the sanctuary which was made famous by the Netflix series Tiger King.
Source: The Guardian