WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — Palm Beach Zoo CEO Andrew Aiken’s voice quivered as he spoke about zookeeper Stacey Konwiser. She was killed by a Malayan tiger when she entered it’s pen.READ MORE: One Area To Watch In Atlantic Over Next Week
Aiken laid out a timeline of what happened — answering questions about why the tiger was tranquilized and not killed. Paramedics did not get to her for 17 minutes, while waiting for the animal to pass out.
“So we are clear, if this were the last animal of its kind and a human life were in danger, we would kill the animal if it were the right decision,” Aiken explained.
The guiding factor, he said, was safety.READ MORE: Teen Sister Of Officer Yandy Chirino's Accused Killer Taken Into Custody
“The animal was within inches of Stacey’s body, including her head. And was “prey guarding,” which is a protective position tigers will assume over prey in the wild,” Aiken said. “If we were to shoot at the animal there was a chance we may hit Stacey.”
The enclosure itself made it more dangerous to use a bullet because it’s made of concrete and steel.
“We were concerned that if the shot missed, for example if the animal moved, or if the shot when through the animal, the projectile could ricochet and hit Stacey or someone else.”
Officials also said that Konwiser was filling in for another employee who called in sick that day.MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Brief Downpours Possible Sunday Before Drier Air Works Its Way In
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