Flordia tiger attack Wooten's everglades airboat and animal sanctuary

A man was reportedly mauled by a tiger on Tuesday afternoon at a popular airboat attraction in the Everglades area of Florida that also features an animal sanctuary.

Man Mauled By Tiger at Wooten’s

Fox News reported that the mauling occurred at around 4:30 PM at Wooten’s Airboats, which is located at 32300 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee.

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said in a statement that his office is “having a hard time comprehending” that something like this could happen. 

“Preliminary (very) info indicates a tiger in an enclosure at that location was being fed by its caretaker when a 50-year-old male, an employee of Wooten’s who was not authorized to be with the tiger, entered the tiger’s enclosure,” Rambosk continued

“The tiger attacked the man and caused injuries to both arms,” the sheriff added. “The man has been transported to a hospital by EMS.”

The caretaker was able to eventually contain the tiger without the animal suffering any injuries. However, the current status of the tiger is unclear at this time, and police gave no further update as to how the injured man is recovering.

Inside Edition utilized some footage of the tigers from a Wooten’s promotional video that is no longer available on its website. You can see the tigers and learn more about the incident in the video below.

According to Inside Edition, the female tiger remains unharmed as of the time of writing.

Wooten’s Animal Sanctuary

Wooten’s website states that they have an Animal Sanctuary & Alligator Park home to: 

  • Two tigers
  • Two lions
  • Otters
  • Turtles
  • Crocodiles
  • Over 100 alligators, from babies to giants

“When you come all the way to the Everglades, you want to see alligators and other animals, right? Of course!” the website continued. “There’s a good chance you’ll see alligators and other wild animals on our airboat and swamp buggy tours, but Mother Nature makes no guarantees.”

YouTubers ‘Live Life With A View’ visited Wooten’s Animal Sanctuary in February of 2021. You can get a look at the tigers in their enclosure starting at the 5 minute mark in this video review of their Wooten’s experience.

Related: These Ukrainian Zookeepers Stayed Behind To Protect Their Animals

Another Recent Tiger Mauling In Florida

This is the second time a tiger has mauled a human in Collier County just in the last few months.

Back in December, a custodial worker at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens entered an unauthorized area and was subsequently mauled by a tiger. 

Sadly, a sheriff’s deputy was forced to shoot the 8 year-old rare Malaysian tiger, whose name was Eko, as the animal was holding on to the man’s arm tightly in his jaw.

It was announced last month that this man, later identified as 26-year-old River Rosenquist, would not be criminally charged in Eko’s death.

However, that didn’t stop Sheriff Rambosk from blasting Rosenquist for his recklessness that led to a tiger being killed. 

Related: The ‘Very Very Weird’ Thing Steve Irwin Did Just Before He Died

Fed-Up Florida Sheriff Sounds Off Following 2nd Tiger Incident

 “Simply put, there are no laws on the books that apply to this reckless act,” the sheriff said. “We know this will be very difficult for everyone to understand. It is difficult for us to comprehend.”

Rombosk added that he was “frustrated and even angered” that no laws are in place for this kind of “tragic situation.” 

We would have to agree with the sheriff on this one. It’s tragic that Eko had to pay for one human’s recklessness with his life, and we hope the tiger involved in yesterday’s incident is allowed to remain alive in peace. 

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