Palm Beach Zoo reopens after fatal tiger attack

Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 18:54:32-04

The Palm Beach Zoo reopened Monday morning following the fatal tiger attack that killed lead zookeeper Stacey Konwiser. 

And for the first time since the incident we are hearing the 911 calls that first alerted the first responders:

Caller: There’s a keeper that’s injured, we need you to come on the west side of the zoo.

Dispatch: Do you know what kind of animal [he] was injured by? 

Caller: yes mam, it’s a tiger, I don’t have any other additional information about that.  

Caller: We definitely need paramedics, it’s a tiger and it’s a person.

Zoo officials tell us the attendance was down today. However, the families who did come out say Friday's incident will not scare them away.

"It's not going to deter me from because its a perfect little zoo for small children," said Susan Seltzer who came out Monday with her family. 

The zoo says tiger exhibit was back open as well. However, it's not clear if the tiger involved in the attack is back on display. The zoo is choosing not to identify the male tiger. 

READ RELATED: Palm Beach Zoo mourns death of zookeeper

Today is a difficult day for zoo staff and friends who say the zoo opened because Stacey would have wanted it to.

Staff members are wearing special "Save The Tiger" bracelets in memory of Konwiser.

Zoo spokesperson Naki Carter wanted to make one thing clear: "The tiger is healthy, there is no threat to its welfare, the tiger's fate is not uncertain." she added. "We do everything we can to preserve the quality of life for the animals."

Carter says zoo staff members are moving forward despite the ongoing investigation. "To be strong as Stacey would want and move forward with her life's work," says Carter.

The zoo is also setting up a fund in her honor called the Stacey Konwiser Fund for Tiger Conservation.

"Stacey was like a sister to many. To Jeremy who our hearts go out to, he has lost a wife, we have lost a member of our zoo family," says Carter.

Funeral arrangements are underway and a private ceremony will be held soon.