Volunteer bitten by tiger at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A feminine volunteer who repeatedly feeds huge cats was bitten and significantly injured by a tiger Thursday morning at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Florida, which was made well-known by the Netflix sequence “Tiger King,” officers mentioned.Hillsborough County Fire Rescue acquired a trauma alert name about 8:30 a.m. Thursday from the sanctuary, company spokesman Eric Seidel advised The Associated Press.Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, mentioned in an electronic mail to the AP that the volunteer, Candy Couser, was feeding a tiger named Kimba when she observed the animal was not in his ordinary location. Baskin mentioned Couser opened a gate that had been clipped shut however she reached in to unclip it.“This is our universal signal NOT to open a gate” with out help, Baskin mentioned. “It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it.”“Kimba grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder,” Baskin added.Couser was taken to a hospital for remedy of significant accidents after workers and different volunteers at Big Cat Rescue sought to cease the bleeding, Baskin mentioned.Kimba can be positioned in quarantine for the subsequent 30 days, however Baskin mentioned the tiger was “just acting normal due to the presence of food and the opportunity.” Baskin mentioned Couser didn’t need Kimba to undergo any penalties for the incident.The sanctuary was based by Baskin and Don Lewis within the 1990s and is a distinguished animal sanctuary. Lewis disappeared in 1997.The incident got here the identical day the U.S. House is to vote on a invoice, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, championed by Baskin that will ban dealing with of huge cat cubs and private possession of them in locations resembling backyards.“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 mentioned.“Tiger King”, which debuted in March, was a documentary series about Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic,” an eccentric former Oklahoma zookeeper who loves huge cats.Story continuesMaldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in jail earlier this yr for his position in a murder-for-hire plot. He was convicted of attempting to rent somebody to kill Baskin, who had tried to close him down, accusing the Oklahoma zoo of abusing animals and promoting huge cat cubs.In retaliation, Maldonado-Passage raised questions on Baskin’s former husband, Lewis. The documentary extensively lined Maldonado-Passage’s repeated accusations that Baskin killed her husband and probably fed him to her tigers. Baskin has not been charged with any crime and has repeatedly launched statements refuting the accusations made within the sequence.___Frisaro reported from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.