TAMPA, FL (WTSP) — A tiger nearly tore the arm off a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue, the animal facility announced Thursday.
The nonprofit said Candy Couser, who had been volunteering with the organization for five years, was grabbed by a tiger named Kimba while reaching her arm into a cage to unclip a door during feeding time around 8:30 a.m.
“It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it,” Big Cat Rescue wrote in a statement. “Kimba grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder.”
Another worker heard the commotion and came running as Kimba dropped his grip. A nurse helped stop the bleeding while another person used a belt as a tourniquet.
An ambulance arrived within 15-20 minutes. And, Couser was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital with “serious injuries.”
“Candy was still conscious and insisted that she did not want Kimba Tiger to come to any harm for this mistake,” Big Cat Rescue wrote in a statement. “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.”