Zoo CEO speaks about tiger attack

Posted at 4:16 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 00:03:51-04

Almost two weeks after a tiger attacked and killed zookeeper Stacey Konwiser, Andrew Aiken, the CEO of the Palm Beach Zoo, released more information about the incident.

He said the day began as normal but at 1:55 p.m. on April 15 a scream was heard from the night house area and heard by maintenance workers. A call was made for help on the zoo radio system. Seconds later a Code Red was issued.

Aiken said 911 was called from a person in an administration building on the other side of the zoo who was listening to radio transmissions from the scene.

A decision was made to use a tranquilizer on the tiger.  

“To be clear if this were the last animal of its kind and human life were in danger we would kill the animal if it were the right decision,” Aiken said.

There was a concern if the zoo shot the tiger with a gun that a bullet could have hit Stacey or someone else.

"Our ability to take a clean shot was limited,” Aiken said.

He said Stacey had no pulse when the staff entered the enclosure.

On the day of the attack another keeper had called in sick. Aiken says Stacey volunteered to work with tigers even though she was scheduled to work in another area.

It’s still unclear why Stacey walked into the enclosure where the tiger had access.