A year after fatally mauling Palm Beach Zoo keeper Stacey Konwiser, Hati the Malayan tiger has died.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the 14-year-old tiger, who had a reputation for being aggressive before Konwiser’s death, passed away during surgery on Thursday.
In a press release, the zoo said that Hati was receiving an operation to address an “abnormal bulge in his abdomen.” This was Hati’s second surgery for abdominal issues, with the previous occurring nine days before. During the second operation the tiger stopped breathing suddenly. Staff members attempted to revive the animal, but were unsuccessful.
An autopsy is scheduled for today to investigate Hati’s death.
“This an emotional time for keepers, many of whom have been on this chronic illness journey with him since April,” Nancy Nill, the zoo’s associate curator, said in a press release. “We’ve lost a member of our family, and we are comforting each other during this time.”
Hati was part of a more complicated emotional saga. On April 15, 2016, he killed zookeeper Stacey Konwiser. Konwiser, an experienced keeper who had been with the zoo for three years, entered the caged tiger “night house” to prepare for one of the zoo’s regular Tiger Talks and was attacked by 350-lb. Hati.
It was determined later that the 38-year-old died from a neck injury sustained during the encounter.
Palm Beach Zoo was not held accountable for Konwiser’s death due to the safety procedures they had in place. Following the mauling, the zoo says they have added more tiger training for keepers and have also placed additional security measures in the caged area where the keeper was mauled.