NAPLES, Fla. — The results of a necropsy performed on Eko, the Malayan tiger killed last week by a Collier County deputy, were released on Tuesday.
Staff veterinarian Dr. Kelsie Stovall's report shows the tiger died due to internal bleeding caused by the gunshot fired into the animal.
"A wound from a 9 mm bullet was traced from the left shoulder through the thoracic wall and into the great vessels at the base of the heart," the report reads. "Multiple vessels were severely lacerated, leading to significant internal bleeding within the thorax and pericardium. The bullet was recovered from the thoracic cavity.
“The severities of the lacerations indicate that he expired quickly," Stovall said.
Deputies responded to the tiger enclosure of the zoo on Dec. 29 to assist 26-year-old cleaning worker River Rosenquist, whose arm was clamped in the tiger's jaws.
Investigators believe Rosenquist was feeding or petting the animal. Zoo officials say had neither permission nor authorization to be near the tiger enclosures.
The responding deputies tried to kick at the enclosure in an attempt to get Eko to release his grip before one deputy ultimately fired their weapon at the tiger.
The zoo was closed Dec. 30 before reopening to the public the following day.
"Naples Zoo is continuing to ask for respect for their staff as they continue to work through this tragedy," Courtney Jolly of the zoo said in a statement.