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Posted: April 15, 2016

Tiger kills handler at Florida zoo

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            Tiger kills handler at Florida zoo
Visitors to the Palm Beach Zoo wait in the gift shop after a tiger is tranquilized. (Photo by Alena Rodriguez)

By Lulu Ramadan

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

WEST PALM BEACH —

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Patrons were ushered into the Palm Beach Zoo gift shop Friday afternoon after a tiger got loose at the zoo.

One person was injured shortly after 1:45 p.m. in a contained area that houses the tigers, West Palm Beach police said. Stacey Konwiser, a longtime zookeeper at the Palm Beach Zoo, has died.

A zoo spokesperson said the tiger was never loose in public areas of the zoo.

The tiger was tranquilized, Detective Lori Colombino said.

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The tiger is in a contained area and guests are not currently at risk, police say.

About 20 to 25 people, including eight children, were “herded” into the gift shop just before 2 p.m., said Alena Rodriguez, who was in the zoo’s gift shop.

“There were people running frantically for the children when we were trying to get the gift shop,” said Rodriquez, who lives in Colorado and is visiting family in West Palm Beach.

Zoo patrons were told that a tiger was loose and they should remain in the gift shop. They were told at 2:20 p.m. that the tiger was secure.

The tiger involved in the attack is believed to be an endangered Malayan tiger. The zoo houses four such tigers.

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