State blames employee in fatal tiger attack at Palm Beach Zoo

click to enlarge State blames employee in fatal tiger attack at Palm Beach Zoo
Photo via WPTV
A state agency released a nine-page report absolving the Palm Beach Zoo of fault and listing rule violations by a zookeeper who was killed by a tiger at the facility on April 15.

Stacey Konwiser, 37, was preparing Hati, a 12-year-old Malayan tiger, for a presentation when her screams caused co-workers to run to her.

According to CBS News, a recent autopsy report states that her neck was crushed and her jugular severed.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation found a number of errors in Konwiser's procedure, among them a failure to shift the deadly animal to a secure area before entering its enclosure space, failure to inform co-workers of the move, and failure to carry a "fogger device" for self-defense.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture found similar results from its investigation in May.

The tiger was shot with a tranquilizer dart at the time of the attack. The zoo's CEO, Andrew Aiken, defends employees' decision not to shoot the animal, arguing that in the short time they had to assess the situation, shooting could have angered it more.

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner has called into question whether or not Konwiser even knew the animal was there, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Konweiser is survived by her husband, Jeremy, who also works at the zoo.


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