Officials: Tiger attacks man at Wooten's Everglades Airboat Tours in Florida

Authorities are investigating after an employee was attacked by a tiger at an attraction Tuesday in southern Florida.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post, citing preliminary information, that a 50-year-old man entered the tiger's enclosure at Wooten's Airboats while it was being fed by one of its caretakers and was attacked.

The man was not authorized to be with the tiger, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries to his arms.

As for the tiger, its caretaker was reportedly able to contain it. The tiger was not injured, according to the Facebook post.

Wooten's Airboats is located between Copeland and Ochopee in southern Florida, and northwest of Miami. While it has various airboat tours, it also has an animal sanctuary with at least two tigers, according to its website, along with other animals.

In an online statement posted late Tuesday, Wooten's confirmed that an employee was injured by one of its tigers and that that man was transported to Gulf Coast Medical in Fort Myers, Florida. 

"The tiger’s caretaker, who has worked at Wooten’s for 25 years, said the employee was not authorized to enter the tiger’s enclosure or feed the tiger," Wooten's said in a statement, adding that it was licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Wooten's said the tiger was not injured and remains in her enclosure.

"All of us at Wooten’s offer our sincere sympathies to the employee and his family, and wish him a speedy recovery," Wooten's said.

It's at least the second tiger attack in Florida in three months.

In December 2021, a contractor was attacked by a tiger at Naples Zoo after he apparently entered an unauthorized part of the tiger's enclosure. The man was seriously injured and taken to the hospital.  

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