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Volunteer's arm 'nearly tore' off during tiger attack at Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue

The sanctuary founded by the "Tiger King" subject said the volunteer reached her arm into a gate during feeding time when she was attacked by a tiger named Kimba.

A volunteer was bitten and seriously injured by a tiger Thursday morning at Big Cat Rescue, the Florida animal sanctuary run by Carole Baskin.

The nonprofit said in a Facebook statement that the volunteer, Candy Couser, had reached her arm into a gate during feeding time when she was attacked by a tiger named Kimba.

"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," the statement read.

A worker heard the commotion and ran over to help as the tiger released his grip on Couser. A nurse helped to stop the bleeding while another worker made a makeshift tourniquet.

Volunteer Candy Couser smiles before feeding big cats at Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue sanctuary near Tampa, Fla. in 2018. Couser, who regularly feeds big cats was bitten and seriously injured by a tiger Thursday morning, Dec. 3, 2020, at the sanctuary, which was made famous by the Netflix series "Tiger King," officials said.Big Cat Rescue via AP

An ambulance arrived within 15 to 20 minutes of the accident, according to the facility.

The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, which responded to the call, referred questions to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which released a statement only saying the incident is being investigated.

"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 said, adding that grief counselors would be available.

Couser was rushed to the hospital and was conscious when she arrived, according to Big Cat Rescue.

Kimba will be placed in quarantine for the next 30 days as a precaution.

The sanctuary and Baskin were featured on Netflix's "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" documentary. Baskin, an outspoken animal rights activist, founded Big Cat Rescue in November 1992. It currently has over 50 exotic cats.