Poll: Can Carole control her cats? Volunteer at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in Florida bitten by a TIGER

A female volunteer bitten by a tiger at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida has been pictured in a post shared by the park on Facebook. 

Candy Couser was mauled by the animal shortly after 8am on Thursday, while she was doing a feeding round at the sanctuary. 

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials told Bay News 9 that Couser’s injuries are considered ‘serious’.

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A statement from Big Cat Rescue posted on social media hours after the attack explained that Couser was preparing to feed a male tiger named Kimba when she ‘saw that he was locked in a section that was away from where he was usually fed and radioed the coordinator to find out why’. 

The elderly volunteer then reached her arm in to Kimba’s cage to open a locked tunnel door before the predator pounced. 

‘[At that moment] Kimba grabbed Couser’s arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder. Jane [the coordinator] heard the commotion and came running. Kimba dropped his grip and Couser fell away from the side of the tunnel.’

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Another employee held Couser’s armpit to stop the bleeding while an ambulance was called.  

Others packed Couser’s arm in ice packs to try and save it before medics arrived at the park. 

Couser was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where she is currently undergoing surgery. 

During her ride to the medical center, Couser was ‘still conscious and insisted that she did not want Kimba Tiger to come to any harm for this mistake.’

Baskin – who recently appeared on Dancing With The Stars – was present at Big Cat Rescue at the time of the incident. 

Coincidentally, the incident occurred on the same day that Baskin’s Big Cat Public Safety Act – a bill to ban the private ownership of big cats – is set to be voted on in Congress.   

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Baskin, 59, was thrust into the limelight earlier this year after appearing when she in the hugely-successful Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King’ with Joe Exotic. 

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