Eko the Endangered Tiger Paid the Ultimate Price for One Man's Foolish Decision

Fewer than 300 endangered Malayan tigers remain on the entire planet. One of them was a rare young tiger named Eko.

Eko spent nearly two years living in captivity at the Naples Zoo in Florida, becoming one of their star attractions. Then, at the age of 8 years old, he was shot and killed after a human broke into a Restricted Area of the zoo and stuck his arm into Eko's enclosure.

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The man waited until after the zoo had closed, then headed over to the Restricted Area where Eko the endangered tiger was kept. Breaking multiple zoo rules and even the law, the man scaled a fence, climbed into the area just outside Eko's domain, and then, once there, decided to do the unthinkable. With a confused, wild, hungry animal on the other side of a fence, this man thrust his arm through the fence.

Not knowing what was going on, Eko did what many other captive animals in his situation might have done: he assumed he was being handed a toy or a treat. So he opened his mouth. And latched onto the man's arm.

When the police arrived to handle the situation, there was a price to pay. And Eko the tiger paid it -- with his life. A sheriff's deputy shot and killed Eko, who had not escaped his enclosure, had not aggressively jumped on anyone, who had really not done anything besides what a wild, confined animal might do.

This would never have happened if wild animals like Eko weren't caged in captivity. Clearly the Naples Zoo does not have enough security measures in place to take care of its animals if an incident like this was allowed to occur. Tell the Naples Zoo to send the rest of its endangered animals to sanctuaries where they can be safe!

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