Collier County Sheriff’s Office incident reports identify the Wooten’s Airboat Tour worker mauled Tuesday as he attempted to pet a tiger at the tourist attraction.
Ignacio Meabe Martinez, 48, of Lehigh Acres, was laying on his back when deputies arrived at Wooten’s, according to the report.
Dispatchers received a call just after 4:30 p.m. from an employee, Collier County Sheriff’s Office records show.
Meabe Martinez sustained large open wounds to his forearms.
Deputies said he wasn’t bleeding, but his tendons were visible. They also requested a Spanish-speaking detective to interview the witness and Meabe Martinez.
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Meabe Martinez began to pass out, according to the report, although deputies kept him conscious until medical services arrived.
Medical responders took him to the National Park Service helicopter pad where he flew to Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, records indicate.
A witness told officials that Meabe Martinez entered the outer tiger enclosure.
The witness was feeding dinner to the tigers when Meabe Martinez entered and put his hands through the fence to pet a tiger, records show.
The witness told Meabe Martinez to stop what he was doing, but Meabe Martinez ignored him, according to the incident report, before placing his hands through the fence for a second time, according to the report.
The tiger grabbed both of Meabe Martinez’ arms with his mouth and briefly held them before releasing him, according to the report. The tiger is fine.
The witness said he separated Meabe Martinez from the fence and placed him on the ground.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission now leads the Wooten’s investigation.
Tuesday’s mauling is the second tiger-involved incident in less than three months.
On Dec. 29, a member of an after-hours cleaning crew at Naples Zoo made it past barriers to a tiger’s cage.
The employee, River Rosenquist, stuck his arm through the tiger’s cage.
The tiger, 8-year-old Eko, was shot and killed.
Tomas Rodriguez is a Breaking/Live News Reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. You can reach Tomas at TRodriguez@gannett.com or 772-333-5501. Follow him on Twitter @TomasFRoBeltran.