Hey, all you cool cats and kittens, if you volunteer at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue be aware that there is always a chance that a tiger will attack you and try to tear your arm off.
I point this out today because that’s exactly what happened to a female volunteer who was feeding a tiger at Big Cat Rescue Thursday morning when the big cat attacked her arm and “nearly tore it off at the shoulder,” reports WFLA.
“This morning, during feeding, Candy Couser, who has been a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue for five years, and a Green Level Keeper (lions, tigers, etc.) for almost three years was feeding Kimba Tiger. She saw that he was locked in a section that was away from where he was usually fed and radiod the coordinator to find out why. Kimba had been locked away from that section for several days as cameras were being installed there. She opened a guillotine tunnel door at one end of the tunnel, and when she went to raise the second door she saw it was clipped shut,” read a statement from Big Cat Rescue. “This is our universal signal NOT to open a gate without the coordinator coming to assist, but [she] said she just wasn’t thinking when she reached in to unclip it. 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.”
This is Kimba…
“Jane heard the commotion and came running,” the statement continued. “Kimba dropped his grip and Candy fell away from the side of the tunnel. Gina being a nurse held off the artery under Candy’s armpit to stop the bleeding and Marc, who had pulled Candy to safety, used his belt as a tourniquet as others called for an ambulance. Gina packed her arm in ice packs to try and save it. The ambulance arrived within 15-20 minutes of the accident.
“Candy’s husband was called, and we left messages for him that she’s been taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Candy was still conscious and insisted that she did not want Kimba Tiger to come to any harm for this mistake. He is being placed in quarantine for the next 30 days as a precaution, but was just acting normal due to the presence of food and the opportunity.”
Candy is reportedly expected to survive. Big Cat Rescue will be providing grief counseling to the volunteers and staff who were working on Thursday.