Carole Baskin is speaking out after a staffer at Big Cat Resue nearly lost an arm from a tiger attack.
The “DWTS” contestant and star of Netflix’s docuseries, “Tiger King” released a statement to E! News after a big cat feeder was taken to the hospital with “serious injuries” on Thursday. Florida’s Hillsborough County Fire PIO confirmed to E! that they responded to a call for an animal bite and said the victim was treated on scene and then transported to a local hospital.
Scroll down to read her statement.
Baskin described what happened in a statement she provided to E!.
“This morning, during feeding, Candy Couser, who has been a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue for five years, and a Green Level Keeper (lions, tigers, etc.) for almost three years was feeding Kimba Tiger,” Carole wrote in her statement. “She saw that he was locked in a section that was away from where he was usually fed and radioed the coordinator to find out why. Kimba had been locked away from that section for several days as cameras were being installed there.”
Keep scrolling for the tiger attack description.
Carole continued to explain that Candy opened one of the safety doors that was “clipped shut,” which she described as a “universal signal NOT to open a gate without the coordinator coming to assist.”
“But Candy said she just wasn’t thinking when she reached into un clip it,” Carole told E!. “It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it. Kimba grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder.”
Other employees heard the commotion and rushed to help Candy. Carole says that once others approached the scene, Kimba the tiger let go and retreated. It was reported that the staffers put pressure on Candy’s artery under her armpit to stop the bleeding while a different employee used a belt as a tourniquet. An ambulance arrived 20 minutes after the attack to attend to Candy.
Baskin revealed that Kimba the tiger will be placed in quarantine for 30 days as a precaution and said the big cat was “just acting normal due to the presence of food and the opportunity.”