A staff member of Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida has reportedly suffered an animal bite. According to ABC News affiliate WFTS, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue confirmed that responders were called to Big Cat Rescue after an employee was bitten. The staffer was said to have been taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for "serious injuries."
Baskin does not yet appear to have issued a statement on the situation. There is also no word on what type of big cat was involved, though the rescue does take in a variety of large animals of the feline family. WFTS also noted that the rescue is currently closed, so there were likely no visitors or tourists present for the incident. According to the outlet, Big Cat Rescue previously posted on its website that coronavirus pandemic shutdowns had caused the organization to lose $160,000 a month in tour revenue.
#BREAKING: First responders are at Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue in Tampa after reports of an animal biting a person.December 3, 2020
Baskin first became a household name after Netflix's hit docuseries Tiger King was released in March. The series heavily focused on the lives of Baskin and Joe Exotic, two rival big cat enthusiasts whose rivalry landed Exotic in prison after he was charged with hiring someone to kill her. Baskin came under her own scrutiny after a portion of the series explored the disappearance of her first husband, as well as accusations that she could have been involved.
In response, Baskin issued a statement chiding the show's producers and claiming that she was portrayed poorly. "There are no words for how disappointing it is to see that the series not only does not do any of that, but has instead chosen to be as salacious and sensational as possible to draw in viewers," she wrote. "As part of that, they devoted an entire segment to 23-year-old lies and innuendos suggesting I was involved in my husband Don's 1997 disappearance."
"I will not use this platform to bring further attention to Netflix or their unethical practices, especially when so many of their so-called inside sources have been clearly shown to be heavily biased," Baskin went on to say, "Instead, I invite the public to focus on the real issue at hand and the important work my team has been able to accomplish. For the last 23 years, we have devoted our hearts and souls to stopping the abuse of big cats used in cub petting schemes and roadside zoos."