Employee attacked by tiger at Wooten’s Airboats and Animal Sanctuary

Published: Updated:

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office responded to calls of a tiger attack just outside Everglades City.

Deputies say this happened at Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours – Animal Sanctuary & Alligator Park, at 32330 Tamiami Trail East in Ochopee.

The emergency calls tell the story. “At the back of a facility in southern collier county everglades city area. We’re en route with approximately a 55-year-old male called trauma alert by EMS services.”

CCSO believes that a caretaker was feeding a tiger in its enclosure when a man employed by Wooten’s entered the enclosure without authorization to do so.

“This patient was apparently mauled by a tiger.”

That tiger attacked the man, and he sustained injuries to both of his arms. The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District did administer some treatment at the scene. before the victim was taken to Big Cypress National Preserve Headquarters along US-41, about a mile away from Wooten’s Airboats.

Greater Naples Fire Chief Nolan Sapp said, “The personnel on scene wounds had already started some preliminary care to the victim. And then we went again and reassessed and rebandage we requested a medical helicopter to take him to the trauma center located in Fort Myers.”

The man was mauled by a tiger that he never should’ve been near in the first place. “Apparently got bit on both upper extremities.”

Later, a helicopter transported the man to Gulf Coast Medical Center in south Fort Myers. “Contusions, lacerations to the left arm and multiple puncture wounds to the right arm.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told WINK News that they responded to Wooten’s as well after receiving a call. FWC believes that the employee attempted to feed the tiger after walking into the enclosure.

According to FWC, the employee sustained serve injuries to his arms and hands. “He had some pretty deep injuries on his left arms and some serious scratches and gouges on his right arm,” Sapp said.

The Wooten’s website says they have two tigers. We do not yet know which of them was involved in this attack.

The caretaker was able to contain the tiger, and the tiger did not sustain any injuries. However, the Greater Naples Fire Chief did tell us that the tiger released the employee from her clutches.

The video below is from the Wooten’s website:

According to Wooten’s website, it will be releasing a statement soon.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.