Eko the tiger was shot and killed in a horrifying encounter at Naples Zoo, Florida on Wednesday this week. Eko had seized zoo cleaner River Rosenquist after he had stuck his arm through zoo fencing in an attempt to feed or pet Eko. The endangered Malaysian tiger had then clamped down on Mr Rosenquist’s arm in an attempt to pull him into the tiger enclosure.
Police deputies can be seen desperately trying to kick the enclosure in an attempt to free Mr Rosenquist but these efforts proved unsuccessful.
Eventually, the police deputy shot the tiger, saying he believed it was the only way to save the man’s life.
Eko let go of the zoo custodian and retreated to the back of the enclosure where his dead body was later recovered.
Police claim that Mr Rosenquist entered an unauthorized part of the tiger enclosure to pet or feed the animal, “both unauthorised and dangerous activities”
Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk defended his officers’ actions: “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
“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.”
Mr Rosenquist was seriously injured during the incident and remains at a nearby hospital for treatment.