"It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it. Kimba grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder."Two colleagues immediately came to Couser's aid, according to Big Cat Rescue."Gina being a nurse held off the artery under Candy's armpit to stop the bleeding and Marc, who had pulled Candy to safety, used his belt as a tourniquet as others called for an ambulance," the statement says. "Gina packed her arm in ice packs to try and save it. The ambulance arrived within 15-20 minutes of the accident."
Courtesy of Sterling TrapKing DavisAfter five years of working at the shelter run by LifeLine Animal Project and training with Best Friends Animal Society, Davis founded the nonprofit TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions in 2017.His bold goal: to change stereotypes of men in cat rescue and bridge the communication gap between Black communities and predominately white animal welfare organizations.
Hillsborough fire officials confirmed to NBC affiliate WFLA that rescue crews responded to reports of a person bitten by an animal at Big Cat Rescue around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.Couser, who has been a volunteer at the rescue for five years, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, according to the Facebook post. Big Cat Rescue later stated on its website, "Candy's husband reports that she is going into surgery soon. She can move her fingers and her arm is broken in three places. Her shoulder is badly damaged though."A hospital spokesperson told TODAY on Thursday afternoon that Couser is in "good condition."
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"Candy was still conscious and insisted that she did not want Kimba Tiger to come to any harm for this mistake," the rescue wrote in its Facebook post. "He is being placed in quarantine for the next 30 days as a precaution, but was just acting normal due to the presence of food and the opportunity."
Grief counseling has been offered to the staff, who met together after the incident.
"Carole reminded everyone that this sort of tragedy can happen in the blink of an eye and that we cannot relax our guard for a second around these dangerous cats," Big Cat Rescue wrote on Facebook.
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TODAY has reached out to Big Cat Rescue for additional comment.
Kate McKinnon of ‘SNL’ is cast in new series about Tiger KingBaskin was one of the primary figures featured in "Tiger King" as the nemesis of Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage , aka “Joe Exotic.”He frequently accused her of murdering her late husband, Don Lewis , and feeding him to her tigers, while she fired back with accusations that he was abusing his animals. (Baskin has denied that she was involved in Lewis' disappearance, and has not been charged with any crime.)Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted on two counts of murder-for-hire last year for paying $3,000 to a hit man to kill Baskin. He was also convicted on multiple counts of violating wildlife laws.
In June, a federal judge granted Baskin control of Maldonado-Passage's 16-acre zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, after Big Cat Rescue sued Maldonado-Passage's mother, Shirley Schreibvogel, in 2016, claiming that her son fraudulently transferred control of the zoo to her in 2011 to keep it away from creditors.A zoo employee suffering a serious injury due to a tiger attack was also featured in "Tiger King." An employee at Maldonado-Passage's zoo, Kelci "Saff" Saffery , talks in the documentary about having part of his left arm amputated after a tiger attack and then returning to work five days later.
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