Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue reports volunteer 'nearly had her arm torn off' by tiger

A volunteer at Tiger King star Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue facility had her arm "nearly torn off at the shoulder" by a tiger during feeding. 

A statement published on the Facebook page of Big Cat Rescue - a non-profit sanctuary founded by Baskin - explained staffer Candy Couser reached into the cage of a tiger called Kimba to unlock a door before she was attacked by the wild animal. 

"It is against our protocols for anyone to stick any part of their body into a cage with a cat in it. Kimba grabbed her arm and nearly tore it off at the shoulder," the statement read. 

When another staffer heard the commotion and came running, "Kimba dropped his grip and Candy fell away from the side of the tunnel" the statement said. 

Team members - one of whom was a nurse - provided first aid, holding off the artery under the victim's armpit to stop the bleeding and using a belt as a tourniquet. The affected arm was "packed in ice to try and save it". 

Big Cat Rescue said an ambulance arrived within 20 minutes of the accident, at which time the victim was still conscious and insisting "she did not want Kimba Tiger to come to any harm for this mistake". 

The tiger is being placed in quarantine for 30 days "as a precaution", but Big Cat Rescue were adamant the animal's behaviour was normal due to the presence of food. 

The statement did not give an update on the victim's status, however celebrity gossip website TMZ reports she is expected to survive. 

"All of the volunteers and staff on site today met to discuss what happened. Carole reminded everyone that this sort of tragedy can happen in the blink of an eye and that we cannot relax our guard for a second around these dangerous cats," the statement continued. 

"The fact that, despite our intense safety protocols and excellent record of safety, an injury like this can occur just confirms the inherent danger in dealing with these animals and why we need the Big Cat Public Safety Act to eliminate having them untracked in backyards around the country and ending up in sanctuaries where wonderful people like Candy Couser have committed themselves to providing care for those discarded by the pay to play industry."