(WSVN) - Back in March, Ignacio Meabe was mauled by two tigers, an 18-year-old Siberian tiger called Daisy and a 15-year-old Bengal tiger called Duruba. Their caretaker had finished feeding the big cats when Meabe saw a piece of chicken left sitting in their cage.
“I got down on the ground, when I threw her the chicken and the tiger got my hand back and forward,” said Meabe.
Daisy bit Meabe’s left hand after he pet her head. He tried to use his right hand to beat her away, but that’s when Duruba clenched on.
“The other tiger bit that one. One tiger biting that one, the other this, the right hand,” he said.
Meabe was a mechanic for an Everglades airboat tour. He was not supposed to be around the animals at all.
“I’m just crazy. I don’t know what happened,” said Meabe.
That crazy idea led to catastrophic wounds.
He remembers looking at his arms before his memory goes dark.
“My bone, I couldn’t move my hand. The rest of the day, I don’t remember.”
“Tiger King” star Carol Baskin, who runs the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, knows getting close to a big cat is a bad idea.
“It’s all wrong on so many levels,” said Baskin. “For someone to feel so comfortable walking in an touching a tiger, [that] tells you that all of that education around zoos has not worked.”
Last December, a cleaner at the Naples Zoo was attacked after he tried feeding a tiger there. The tiger, called Eko, was shot and killed by deputies.
Meabe is finally home after a weekslong stay at the hospital. He’s still recovering but has full motion in both of his arms.
His worst injury during his big cat encounter was losing the top of his left middle finger.
“Doctors say everything is good,” said Meabe.
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