The Tragic Tiger Attack At Carole Baskin's Rescue

A volunteer at Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue facility is lucky to be alive today. Hillsborough Fire Rescue in Tampa received an emergency call on Thursday morning at Baskin's tiger sanctuary for one of their staff, who'd suffered an injury that nearly resulted in the complete loss of her arm. The victim in question is Candy Couser, a volunteer who has been a part of Baskin's rescue facility for nearly three years (via TMZ). According to Baskin and her husband Howard, Couser "stuck her hand into the enclosure of Kimba the tiger, to open the door for feeding time ... and Kimba bit into her hand and started thrashing. 

The Baskins say that if it hadn't been for the other staffers who ran to the violent scene, Couser's arm would have been completely detached at the shoulder. But luckily, once everyone arrived, the tiger let go of the arm. Despite the horrible incident, paramedics were able to keep Couser stable, and she is expected to survive.

While the attack was vicious, it wasn't intentional

As for the tiger, Couser made it very clear that she wanted no harm to be done to him. They believe that the tiger wasn't trying to be violent by any means but was simply "acting normal" as a result of food being present. Furthermore, while Couser has been a part of the Big Cat Rescue facility for nearly three years now, the Baskins believe the attack happened due to a careless decision on her part. According to TMZ, the Baskins said that at the time of the attack, the enclosure that Kimba was in was behind "2 guillotine-style tunnel doors." Couser had opened the first gate, but the second gate was clipped shut, which should have served as a sign to Couser not to enter the cage, even just an arm or fingers.

The Baskins stated, "This is our universal signal NOT to open a gate without the coordinator coming to assist, but Candy said she just wasn't thinking when she reached in to un clip it. It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it."