Volunteer At Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue Mauled By Tiger And Nearly Loses An Arm
A volunteer at Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue is lucky to be alive after being mauled by one of the resident tigers.
Candy Crouser, 69, was attacked by Kimba, a male tiger rescued from Guatemala, and has been taken to hospital.
Carole Baskin said the tragic accident happened as a result of Crouser breaking the strict protocols that are in place to prevent these things from happening.
In statement on their website, Big Cat Rescue said the volunteer noticed Kimba was locked in a section away from his usual feeding section, however she opened a gate that had been clipped shut.
The animal park said this arrangement 'is our universal signal NOT to open a gate' without assistance, adding: "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.
"Candy said she just wasn't thinking when she reached in to un-clip it [the door].
"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."
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Bystanders leapt into action and used a belt as a tourniquet to stem the bleeding and whacked ice onto the wound in an effort to save the arm. The volunteer has been taken to hospital with serious injuries and doctors confirmed she broke her arm in three places and her shoulder had been 'badly damaged'.
As she was being treated by ambulance crews, Candy insisted 'she did not want Kimba Tiger to come to any harm for this mistake'.
Kimba will be placed in quarantine for 30 days but Ms Baskin says that's not a punishment as the tiger was 'just acting normal due to the presence of food and the opportunity'.
Candy has been a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue for five years, and a Green Level Keeper, which looks after lions and tigers, for almost three years.
Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue became a household name after being featured in the wildly successful Netflix documentary series Tiger King.
The park said in a statement: "The fact that, despite our intense safety protocols and excellent record of safety, an injury like this can occur just confirms the inherent danger in dealing with these animals and why we need the Big Cat Public Safety Act to eliminate having them untracked in backyards around the country and ending up in sanctuaries where wonderful people like Candy Couser have committed themselves to providing care for those discarded by the pay to play industry."
Featured Image Credit: Netflix
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