Tiger kills zookeeper at Palm Shore Zoo

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 3:51 AM

Stacey Konwiser, thirty-eight, was pronounced deceased at St. Mary'south Medical Middle in W Palm Beach, where she'd been rushed after the incident at around 1:45 p.

Tiger kills zookeeper at Palm Shore Zoo

A veteran FL zookeeper known as "the tiger whisperer" died Friday after she was mauled by one of the huge cats in her care.

Stacey Konwiser, thirty-eight, was pronounced deceased at St. Mary'south Medical Middle in W Palm Beach, where she'd been rushed after the incident at around 1:45 p. m. local time.

Palm Shore Zoo spokesman Naki Carter told WSVN that the 13-year-old male Malayan tiger wasn't being exhibited when he attacked Konwiser and the public was never in danger. However, the zoo was placed on lockdown and about twenty-five guests were told to barricade themselves in the gift shop as a precaustion.

Carter said Konwiser was interior the tiger habitat, which is closed to the public, preparing for the zoo'south daily two p. m. tiger show. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the tiger to attack her.

The tiger was tranquilized and authorities had to wait until the sedative took effect before they could arrive to Konwiser'south aid, W Palm Shore police spokeswoman Lori Colombino said.

"She is someone that absolutely loved everything that'd to do with keeping these tigers and seeing that they were enriched daily," Carter said, "and I know that just her like for them, if you knew her, then you knew about her like for these creatures."

W Palm Shore Police said Konwiser'south family had been notified of her death. Carter said Konwiser'south husband is also a Palm Shore zookeeper, but wouldn't declare whether he was at the zoo Friday afternoon. Zoo executive declined to comment on whether there had been other incidents with the tiger.

Malayan tigers are considered an endangered species, and only two hundred fifty stay in the world. The Palm Shore Zoo keeps four Malayan tigers, including the animal that killed Konwiser.

Konwiser'south death is being investigated by the FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The zoo is closed until Sun at the earliest.

Click for more from WSVN.

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