Palm Beach Zoo Staff Mourns loss of zookeeper Stacy Konwiser

Palm Beach Zoo Staff Mourns loss of zookeeper Stacy Konwiser.

On April 15 at around 2 pm Stacy  Konwiser was involved in an incident with one of the male Malayan tigers. This incident occurred off exhibit, in the tiger night house, which is in the back of the tiger exhibit where the public does not have access.
The Zoo has a safety protocol in place for crisis situations and these protocols were employed today. Immediately after the Code Red was issued guests, who were never in any danger, were ushered out of the Zoo in an orderly fashion and the Zoo went into lock down.

West Palm Beach Police Department and West Palm Beach Fire Department EMS responded to the scene.
Konwiser was airlifted from Palm Beach Zoo.  “Konwiser was preparing the night house for the evening routine, which includes cleaning and feeding,” said General Curator Jan Steele. Officials are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Konwiser came to the zoo three years ago from the Living Desert Museum & Zoo. She had extensive experience in managing large cats. She earned an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke and a master’s degree from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
Her husband Jeremy, also a keeper at Palm Beach Zoo, issued a short statement to his fellow colleagues on Saturday.
“Please thank everyone for their support and kind words. This is a tragic and traumatic event for the zoo family but together we can help each other heal. Human beings and animals lost a wonderful friend yesterday.”

Konwiser had recently accepted a position with the FDA, looking at long-term career progression to get into U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
This was the first death of a human involved in an animal incident in the history of Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society.
The Zoo remained closed throughout the weekend.

Staff at the Palm Beach Zoo gathered Saturday morning to mourn and remember.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Stacy’s family and friends.

We will update this story as information comes in.

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