A cleaning man who was mauled by a tiger at a zoo in Naples, Florida, that resulted in the shooting death of the tiger, remains hospitalized.
The incident occurred Dec. 29, 2021, when 26-year-old River Rosenquist jumped a barrier fence at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens and put his arm into the enclosure of Eko, a critically endangered Malayan tiger. Eko latched onto Rosenquist’s arm and would not let go. Police shot and killed Eko.
Rosenquist remains in the hospital due to the severity of the injury. His lawyer released a statement that he is in stable condition and the medical team successfully avoided amputating his arm. USA Today reported that a nurse said she smelled alcohol on Rosenquist’s breath before he was intubated for surgery.
Rosenquist was part of a third-party cleaning company that was contracted to only clean bathrooms, a gift shop and commissary areas. He had entered an unauthorized area of the zoo when the incident occurred. USA Today reported that Rosenquist was in possession of possible zoo or animal keys at the time of the incident.
The Naples Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The facility does not have security cameras that could have captured the incident. At a Dec. 31 press conference, Naples Zoo said they had not made a decision on whether they will press charges against Rosenquist for the incident.
USA Today reported that FWC investigated the mauling and subsequent shooting death of Eko and they determined that Naples Zoo was not at fault.
NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect new information that Rosenquist's arm was not amputated after the tiger mauling.