Animal expert reacts to M.E.'s report on tiger mauling

Posted at 6:51 PM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 19:21:11-04

More than five months after a malayan tiger attacked and killed lead zoo keeper Stacey Konwiser at the Palm Beach Zoo, the Medical Examiner’s office released its report. In it we learn Hati is the name of the tiger involved.

However, the zoo is choosing not to confirm that detailed.

“We can’t control what comes from other organizations or other agencies but as an organization we are not going to be releasing that name,” said the zoo’s spokeswoman Naki Carter.

Though Carter says the tiger involved remains at the zoo. 

"We can say that male Malayan tiger remains here at Palm Beach Zoo. He will remain here unless there is a  request to transfer him for breeding purposes.”

RELATED: Medical Examiner releases zookeeper's autopsy report, identifies tiger in Palm Beach Zoo attack

The report says Konwiser had “bite, claw and crush injuries,” and that she ultimately dying from a “fatal neck injury.”
The medical examiner ruled her death an accident.

While still saddened by the terrible death, David Hitzig, executive director of Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter tells NewsChannel 5 the fatal neck and back injuries are not surprising.

"You’re talking about a 350-pound animal verses a small woman, and even in the best case scenario, that’s not going to end well,” said Hitzig.

According to the ME’s report, the fatal mauling happened in the tiger night house. The report says Stacey had to unlock two padlocks to open the door to the tiger cage, an area that was marked for “Animal Access.”

While we don’t know why she entered the area in the first place, the entire incident has those, like Hitzig who work with these kind of animals, re-writing their policies.

“It includes communication back and forth, letting people know that you’re going to be in there,” said Hitzig. “It includes now having a firearm at the location where the animals are, having a tranquilizer gun and tranquilizing drugs right there and immediately available.”

FWC, OSHA, and the West Palm Beach Police Department still have not released their final reports into the fatal incident.

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