HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Tiger bites staff member at Tampa's Big Cat Rescue

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2020 at 11:11 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA BIG CAT RESCUE/YOUTUBE
  • PHOTO VIA BIG CAT RESCUE/YOUTUBE

A tiger reportedly bit a staff member at Tampa’s controversial Big Cat Rescue Thursday morning.

Eric Seidel, of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, told Creative Loafing that the incident occurred at around 8:30 a.m. at the property located at 12802 Easy St.

Because of HIPAA laws, the identity of the person who was bitten and the extent of the injury cannot be disclosed, but Seidel did say it was a "serious injury."

The victim was treated on-site and transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. No other details were given.

Big Cat Rescue was most recently made famous on last summer’s Netflix hit documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, starring the animal sanctuary’s CEO Carole Baskin and her nemesis, Oklahoma zookeeper Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic. In the documentary, one of Exotic's staff members, Kelci "Saff" Saffery, had their arm ripped off by a tiger, which prompted Joe Exotic's infamous line, "I'm never going to financially recover from this."

Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in prison, after being found guilty of a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin, as well as killing five tigers and numerous other animal abuse violations.  

Baskin has also been questioned in the disappearance of her late husband Jack Donald "Don" Lewis, which is still an active cold case in Hillsborough County. Last March, Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said his department was getting “six tips a day” regarding the 23-year-old case, though most were not credible.  

The animal sanctuary has been closed to the public since the beginning of the pandemic, and has been losing $160,000 a month, according to a post on its website

This is a developing story, first reported by our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa.



Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 20, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation