WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA — A zookeeper attempting to care for a tiger was mauled to death when she entered an enclosure which the tiger also had access to.
On April 22 shortly before 2 p.m., Palm Beach Zoo lead tiger handler Stacey Konwiser was checking on a male Malayan tiger before putting on a routine show for the public called "Tiger Talk." Konwiser was known as the "Tiger Whisperer" among staff at the zoo.
Zoo officials said Konwiser entered a night house designated for the tigers to eat and sleep, which was clearly marked as accessible to the tigers. Once in, Konwiser was attacked by one of the male Malayan tigers. A code red was immediately initiated by the zoo's staff, and the tiger was shot with a tranquilizer. Her colleagues were unable to aid her until the big cat fell asleep. When he finally did, they had her airlifted to a nearby area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Zoo officials do not yet know why Stacey Konwiser went inside the tiger enclosure, but said five separate investigations are underway to figure out what happened. Konwiser had worked with the endangered Malayan tigers for three years until her death. Her husband Jeremy is also a staff member at the Palm Beach Zoo.