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Volunteer at Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue reportedly attacked by tiger

7 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, December 03 2020 Dec 3, 2020 December 03, 2020 12:13 PM December 03, 2020 in News
Source: CNN
Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida

TAMPA, Florida - CNN reports that a tiger attack left an animal sanctuary volunteer wounded on Thursday morning.

The incident occurred at Tampa Florida's 'Big Cat Rescue,' which was founded by Carole Baskin, during a morning feeding. 

CNN says the volunteer wasn't new and unfamiliar with the sanctuary's rules, but apparently breached protocol while feeding one of the tigers, which may have triggered the incident.

It unfolded as the volunteer began to follow her typical morning routine of feeding a tiger named Kimba, but she came to a pause as she noticed Kimba was locked out of the section of the cage that's normally used during feeding time.

So, the volunteer opened the gate to let Kimba through, but she did so without asking a coordinator, Big Cat Rescue says.

And, as she reached her arm through the cage to unclip a second door, which Big Cat Rescue said was a breach of protocol, Kimba grabbed the volunteer's arm and "nearly tore it off at the shoulder." 

Another volunteer heard the attack, ran over, and that's when the tiger released its grip on the wounded volunteer's arm. Coworkers tried to stop the bleeding and save the injured volunteer's arm before an ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later.

Big Cat Rescue says Kimba will be placed in quarantine for the next 30 days, but added that the tiger "was just acting normal due to the presence of food and opportunity."

The sanctuary said the injured volunteer didn't want Kimba to be punished for biting her.

Incidentally, the attack occurred the same week the House of Representatives plans to vote on the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would put a stop to the private possession of big cats in the US and the handling of young cubs.

Baskin, who rose to fame after being profiled in the Netflix docuseries "Tiger King," has vocally supported the bill.

The sanctuary echoed Baskin's support of the bill in a statement to CNN, saying Thursday's attack on a volunteer only reinforces why the Big Cat Public Safety Act should be passed.

Big Cat Rescue houses more than 50 exotic cats like tigers, lions, bobcats and more, many of which were rescued from the pet trade.

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