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Tiger Kills Zoo Keeper in Tragic Incident; Visitors Barricaded in Gift Shop

A Florida zookeeper was mauled to death on Friday afternoon at Palm Beach Zoo by a Malayan tiger, according to reports.

The victim, Stacey Konwiser, was the lead keeper at the zoo. Naki Carter, a spokesperson for the zoo, said the tiger was not on exhibit during the time of the attack and did not escape it’s inclosure, though the zoo was closed and visitors were evacuated after being initially barricaded in a gift shop for their safety.

An expert in her field, Konwiser dedicated her life to the mission of protecting the rare Malayan tiger species.

Image: CNN

Image: CNN

“I kind of referred to her as a tiger whisperer,” Carter said. “They spoke to each other in a language that only they could understand. And I can’t put into words or make you understand for anyone who didn’t know Stacey how much she loved these tigers and how much this zoo family loved her. And while she’s no longer with us, her memory will live on.”

An unprovoked attack, Konwiser was bitten by the big cat during preparation for a discussion on tigers.

Despite being rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center, a local hospital, she couldn’t be saved. The tiger was tranquilized in order to gain access to Stacey.

She leaves behind her husband, Jeremy Konwiser, who is also a trainer at the zoo.


“When you go into this profession as a keeper, you go because you have a passion,” according to Carter. “That passion is animals and endangered species.”

The incident is the first death caused by an animal in the zoos history.

“This is a very difficult situation for all zoo staff, family members of Konwiser, her family and the extended zoo family. We ask the media and public to respect the privacy of those involved during this difficult time,” the zoo said in an issued statement earlier on Friday night”

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