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FWC issues final report on deadly tiger attack at the Palm Beach Zoo that killed Stacey Konwiser

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 23:42:53-04

The reason why an animal keeper entered a room with a tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo and was mauled to death may never be known.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued its final report on the incident Monday.

The report found that on April 15 Stacey Konwiser went into room four in the Tiger River night house.

It was labeled animal access which indicates a tiger had access to the room, according to the report.

The tiger, named Hati, had three possible ways to get into room four.

There were no witnesses at the time and no video surveillance.

The zoo has a policy that no staff member can enter “an occupied deadly animal enclosure unless the animal has been appropriately immobilized.” The report says this policy was violated.

Staff members caring for dangerous animals are also required to wear a fogger device on their belt at all times. The policy, according to the report, was also violated.

Two workers called for help when they heard a scream come from the area.

The decision was made to tranquilize Hati, because there was a fear if they shot the animal they could have struck Konwiser since the tiger was ‘prey guarding’ her.

The report concludes, “It is unknown why Mrs. Konwiser entered into the room four of the night house. No violations of state rules or regulations were documented during this incident.”

Konwiser had submitted her two-week resignation letter eight days before the incident. She was going to start a new job with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 26, 2016.

Palm Beach Zoo released this statement regarding FWC report:

The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society appreciates the diligence and professionalism of Florida Fish and Wildlife during the course of its investigation. As the Zoo anticipated,  “no violations of state rules or regulations were documented during this incident.” We continue to cooperate with the remaining agencies investigating this accident. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Feige and Konwiser families.