Dramatic 911 calls, bodycam video released from Florida tiger attack

The man was mauled by the tiger after trying to pet the animal, police say

ByEva Pilgrim, GMA ABCNews logo
Monday, March 28, 2022
Dramatic 911 calls, bodycam video released from Florida tiger attack
New bodycam video shows deputies responding to a tiger attack in Florida

The urgent 911 calls from a terrifying tiger attack at a Florida airboat attraction have been released.

The dramatic moments to help the man mauled were also caught on body camera video.

The new bodycam video shows deputies responding to the tiger attack in Florida

"We need an ambulance bad. Someone just got attacked by a tiger," the 911 caller said.

The attack happened at "Wooten's Everglades Airboat Tours" earlier this week.

According to deputies, Ignacio Meabemartinez, an employee, stepped into the enclosure where he was unauthorized to be while a caretaker was feeding two tigers.

In an attempt to pet one of them, the 48-year-old reportedly stuck his hands through the fence despite the caretaker repeatedly demanding not to.

RELATED: Tiger shot, killed after attacking worker who entered enclosure at Florida zoo

The man, who is in his 20s, was seriously injured when he entered an unauthorized area of the tiger enclosure at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens and began either petting or feeding the tiger, the Collier County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.

As a result, one of the tigers bit both of the man's arms before letting go.

First responders found Martinez lying on his back with open wounds before transporting him to a nearby medical center.

The tiger was left uninjured.

"Top of the middle finger is missing," one of the officers can be heard saying on the bodycam video.

This comes nearly three months after a similar attack at the Naples Zoo, which is roughly 40 miles away.

Eko, an endangered Malayan tiger, mauled a man on the after-hour cleaning crew who was also sticking his arms through the cage.

The Collier Sheriff's deputies ended up shooting Eko, who later died from internal bleeding.