The tiger involved in the mauling of a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Thursday has been left ‘pretty rattled’ by the ordeal, Carole Baskin shared.
Baskin, the controversial big-cat rights activist, said that the male tiger involved in the mauling – Kimba – was already in a fragile state prior to the attack on Candy Couser.
‘Kimba was pretty rattled yesterday by all of the commotion and he’s already a very fearful cat having come from a circus,’ she explained to the Sun.
‘His quarantine will be in his same cage, but with a select few keepers assigned to him and his own designated cleaning tools for the next 30 days.
Big cat Kimba has been left ‘pretty rattled’ after he mauled a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa on Thursday, according to Carole Baskin
Volunteer Candy Couser was rushed to hospital after being bitten by the male tiger at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue park in Tampa, Florida on Thursday morning
‘We were in the process of installing 46 more live cameras, with a couple being designated to be in his cage that had been clipped shut to prevent him from getting too close to the trenching work just outside the cage on that side, so hopefully they will be operational soon.’
On their website, Big Cat Rescue shared that Kimba was saved along with two other tigers from a banned circus in Guatemala in 2018. Big Cat Rescue heard about the tigers after reading a DailyMail.com story about a worker who was attacked by tigers at the circus in 2018.
The Ponce Circus is said to have gone on the run instead of turning the tigers over to Animal Defenders International.
‘During the handover from the circus to ADI the circus workers started beating Kimba viciously with an iron bar until he bled. The ADI rescuers intervened to save his life,’ Big Cat Rescue shared. ‘Kimba was left terrified, with a bleeding leg and mouth.’
On their website, Big Cat Rescue shared that Kimba was saved along with two other tigers from a banned circus in Guatemala in 2018. Kimba on his last day at the circus
Big Cat Rescue heard about the tigers after reading a DailyMail.com story about a worker who was attacked by tigers at the circus in 2018. Kimba at the circus
The tigers would eventually make it to the Big Cat Rescue in November 2019.
Big Cat Rescue shared in a Thursday Facebook post that Kimba ‘grabbed her (Couser’s) arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder’ when she was feeding the big cat and realized that it was not in a section it normally stayed in.
Staff rushed to the woman as she was mauled and Kimba released his grip of her arm. Couser was tended to before she was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
In an update posted a few more hours on their website, Big Cat Rescue said that it was their ‘understanding that the CDC could demand’ that Kimba be killed and tested for rabies, but that it would be ‘unlikely given the fact that he’s vaccinated and Candy does not want him to be killed for doing what comes naturally.’
Kimba was brutally beaten before he was given to authorities, leaving him terrified
Couser has insisted that the big cat not be killed for ‘doing what comes naturally’
Couser was mauled by the animal shortly after 8am on Thursday, while she was doing a feeding round at the sanctuary.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials told Bay News 9 that Couser’s injuries are considered ‘serious’.
A statement from Big Cat Rescue posted on social media hours after the attack explained that Couser was preparing to feed a male tiger named Kimba when 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’.
The elderly volunteer then reached her arm in to Kimba’s cage to open a locked tunnel door before the predator pounced.
‘[At that moment] Kimba grabbed Couser’s arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder. Jane [the coordinator] heard the commotion and came running. Kimba dropped his grip and Couser fell away from the side of the tunnel.’
Couser was attacked by Kimba (pictured) – a male tiger who is housed at the park
A staffer has been bitten by a tiger at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. Baskin is pictured
Another employee held Couser’s armpit to stop the bleeding while an ambulance was called.
Others packed Couser’s arm in ice packs to try and save it before medics arrived at the park.
Couser was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where she is currently undergoing surgery.
During her ride to the medical center, Couser was ‘still conscious and insisted that she did not want Kimba Tiger to come to any harm for this mistake.’
Baskin – who recently appeared on Dancing With The Stars – was present at Big Cat Rescue at the time of the incident.
Coincidentally, the incident occurred on the same day that Baskin’s Big Cat Public Safety Act – a bill to ban the private ownership of big cats – was passed by the House.
The attack on the worker happened at around 8am on Thursday morning. An aerial shot of Big Cat Rescue is seen above
Baskin who recently appeared on Dancing With The Stars – was present at Big Cat Rescue at the time of the incident
Baskin, 59, was thrust into the limelight earlier this year after appearing when she in the hugely-successful Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King’ with Joe Exotic.
The series focused on Exotic’s bizarre life, his Oklahoma zoo, as well as his bitter feud with Baskin, a big-cat rights activist.
A handler at Exotic’s zoo – Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park – was also bitten by a tiger.
The employee, Kelci ‘Saff’ Saffery, had his arm mauled off in the gruesome attack.
During filming of Tiger King, Kelci ‘Saff’ Saffery, had his arm mauled off by a tiger at Joe Exotic’s animal park
Exotic, real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, is one year into a 22-year sentence for trying to hire a hitman to kill Baskin.
He has vehemently denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, Baskin has also dismissed rumors she is responsible for killing her former husband, Don Lewis.
Lewis vanished in August 1997 and has not been seen since. Some fans have wildly speculated that Baskin fed Lewis to tigers at the Big Cat Rescue park.
Baskin, 59, was thrust into the limelight when she featured in the 2020 Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King’ with Joe Exotic (pictured)