WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Malayan tiger attacked and killed an employee at the Palm Beach Zoo Friday afternoon in West Palm Beach, a spokesperson for the zoo confirmed.
The attack happened during a routine procedure, according to Palm Beach Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter, who added that the tiger never escaped its enclosure and was immediately tranquilized.
The victim, 37-year-old Stacey Konwiser, was the lead keeper at the zoo, according to the Palm Beach Post.
A trainer was attacked and killed at the Palm Beach Zoo today our prayers go out to the family of Today's tragedy pic.twitter.com/DSO6TjFAAX
— Johann Hoffend (@Chopper5WPTV) April 15, 2016
While no guests were ever in danger, Carter said, officials rushed visitors into a contained area for about 20 minutes as a precaution. Some reported overhearing officials talking about a tiger that was on the loose.
The Palm Beach Zoo will be closed through Saturday, officials said.
The Malayan tiger is extremely endangered, Carter said, with less than 250 left in the wild. Four live at the Palm Beach Zoo.