Florida Zookeeper Was Preparing The Tiger Night House, Then Tragedy Struck

Stacey Konwiser smiles during the dedication of the new tiger habitat at the Palm Beach Zoo on March 7, 2015. (Brianna Soukup/Palm Beach Post via AP)

Stacey Konwiser was making moves.

She had just accepted a new job with the federal government, with a long-term goal of working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Palm Beach Zoo, where she was lead keeper, was creating a new position in an effort to persuade her to stay.

But that all came crashing down on Friday, when Konwiser, 38, died following an attack that afternoon by one of the tigers she cared for. The animal-involved fatality — the first in the West Palm Beach, Fla., zoo’s 60-year history — occurred in the “tiger night house,” an area out of view of the public in the back of the tiger exhibit.

“Konwiser was preparing the night house for the evening routine, which includes cleaning and feeding,” Jan Steele, the zoo’s general curator, said in a statement. She was airlifted from the scene.

The animal never escaped, and the public was never in danger, the zoo said.

“The Zoo has a safety protocol in place for crisis situations and these protocols were employed today. Immediately after the Code Red was issued guests, who were never in any danger, were ushered out of the Zoo in an orderly fashion and the Zoo went into lockdown,” spokeswoman Naki Carter said Friday in statement.

Source;The Washington Post
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