Palm Beach Zoo reopens after fatal tiger attack

Stacey Konwiser, 38, killed by 13-year-old male tiger Friday

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Palm Beach Zoo reopened its doors Monday after an employee was killed last week when she was attacked by a tiger.

Stacey Konwiser, 38, was attacked about 2 p.m. Friday in an enclosure known as the night house, where tigers sleep and are fed, Palm Beach Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter said.

"It was a day-to-day procedure, and something went tragically wrong," Carter told Local 10 News reporter Derek Shore. "We are trying to uncover with investigators exactly what that was."

Carter said the zoo was open at the time, but guests weren't present during the attack and were never in any danger.

She said the 13-year-old tiger was tranquilized and has since recovered.

Konwiser, who had worked at the zoo for three years, was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center, where she later died.

The death is the first involving a human at the hands of an animal in the zoo's history.

During a news conference Sunday, Carter said a fund has been created to support tiger conservation in honor of Konwiser.

"We are just working together to push forward to continue Stacey's life work," Carter said.

Carter declined to comment on the ongoing investigation, but she said zoo officials are not blaming the tiger for the attack.

About the Authors: