Tiger that killed Florida zookeeper threatened by caller

Tiger at West Palm Beach Zoo, NBC News image

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Police are investigating a threat against a tiger that killed a Florida zookeeper.

The Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society notified police about a threatening call Monday.

Tiger at West Palm Beach Zoo, NBC News image
Tiger at West Palm Beach Zoo, NBC News image

According to a West Palm Beach Police Department report, a receptionist at the zoo said she received a phone call from a man who threatened to harm one of the zoo’s tigers. The threat was in retaliation for the death of Stacey Konwiser, who was attacked by a male Malayan tiger on Friday, April 15.

The receptionist said the phone call came from a private line around 2:02 p.m. on Monday. The man had a strong southern accent and asked if the tiger had been euthanized yet, referring to the tiger involved in the employee’s death. The receptionist said she was not comfortable talking about the tiger.

The caller then said, “You better watch your zoo, we will handle it ourselves. I;m from West Palm Beach.” the man then hung up.

The receptionist said it sounded like the man was 40 to 50 years old.

Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter declined comment to reporters Wednesday. Carter read a statement from Konwiser’s husband, who said Konwiser would want the zoo “full of visitors and supporters.”

In an online statement, the zoo defended tranquilizing the tiger Friday. The statement says the zoo considers human safety, the configuration of the area and whether a bullet could ricochet when deciding whether to shoot or tranquilize an animal.

The zookeeper who was killed by the tiger died from a neck injury, authorities announced on Wednesday, April 20.

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