Zookeeper could face charges

Avatar BCR | August 24, 2006 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Zookeeper could face charges after tiger escapes from Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa, Florida- A Sumatran tiger at the Lowry Park Zoo was shot and killed Tuesday evening after the rare feline escaped from a night house cage while some visitors were still in the park.

State and Federal Investigators are reviewing Lowry Park procedures. Lowry Park President Lex Salisbury confirms the tiger got out of the cage Tuesday night because of human error.

Zoo officials are reviewing procedures to see how to keep this from happening again.

State Fish and Wildlife officials say the zookeeper could face a misdeameanor charge for letting the wild animal loose.

Officials at the Lowry Park Zoo say a latch on the holding cell was left unlocked, allowing a tiger named Enshala to slip through and head toward a construction area. This afternoon, they’re planing to talk more about the incident.

The zoo’s veterinarian shot a tranquilizer dart at the animal, but the female tiger became agitated and lurched at him and a seven-foot wall that separates the area from the public. So the vet fired a round from a 12-gauge shotgun, then three more shots when she continued moving.

The escape was blamed on zoo keeper error, the zoo said.

Enshala was born at the zoo 14 years ago. She was a Sumatran tiger, which is the smallest of the tiger subspecies and is only found in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. There are fewer than 500 left in the wild.


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Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

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