Jacqueline Eide has been arrested plenty of times before — for graffiti, disturbing the peace, obstruction of justice, shoplifting, and three times for DUI. Now, her apparently reckless behavior has earned the Nebraska woman a very nasty tiger bite.
The 33-year-old has a criminal charge to go along with it after she snuck into a zoo to pet a tiger, while drunk, adding to her laundry list of criminal behavior after an incident at an Omaha zoo on Halloween night.
Eide and an unnamed person headed out to the city’s Henry Doorly Zoo Saturday night with the sole intention of petting a tiger, police told Fox 42. The pair allegedly broke in during off hours, CNN added, trespassed into an unauthorized area, scaled a fence, and evaded other security measures.
And they reached the tiger. Their mission was so successful, in fact, that Eide was close enough to the tiger to be bitten on the hand as she tried to pet it, KETV added.
Apparently, the animal was in no mood for Halloween shenanigans.
The unfortunate part of the story is that Jacqueline suffered “severe trauma” to her left hand, the wounds so bad that she is at risk of losing her fingers, or at the very least parts of her fingers. She was taken to the hospital by a friend and was still there as of Sunday.
According to Omaha.com, the drunk tiger bite took place early Sunday morning, possibly around 4 a.m. Officials didn’t know what had happened until Jacqueline was in the hospital around 7 a.m. That’s when the Omaha police department was called to the facility in response to a “disturbance” involving a woman with a tiger bite. Officers allegedly found Eide being “aggressive toward staff,” and she seemed to be drunk.
The statement didn’t specify whether the woman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The tiger Jacqueline had tried to pet may have been Mai, an 18-year-old Malayan tiger, the zoo said.
The tiger bite is under investigation, and Eide has been cited for criminal trespass. Police are reviewing security footage to figure out how she got into the zoo, drunk, and if she had an accomplice.
The woman’s rap sheet includes two arrests this year in Omaha, and criminal convictions for drunk driving, graffiti, disturbing the peace, obstruction of justice, and shoplifting. In 2011, she was sentenced to serve time in prison for her third DUI.
The zoo is responding to the drunk tiger bite with a statement from its executive director, Dennis Pate, who said that the zoo is always concerned with the safety and security of its guests. The facility has also ramped up security recently, but somehow this one drunk Halloween reveler managed to evade these measures.
Pate said the zoo has emergency phone numbers printed on maps that visitors can call at any time, emergency and security staff are always on watch, and security cameras, new path lighting, and computer-controlled locks that track exit and entry have been installed.
They also plan to add lighting to the zoo’s African Grasslands exhibit, though it’s not clear if that’s where this drunk woman sustained her tiger bite in her ill-advised attempt at petting the dangerous predator. More cameras will be installed to keep watch on the grounds and gates.
Few patrons of the zoo seemed to be very concerned or sympathetic about the tiger bite. An Iowan and cat lover named Ron Hegg still perused the tiger cage, despite the story.
“If you stick your fingers in a cat’s cage, you’re going to get what you deserve. It’s not a smart decision. It’s not like (the tiger) got loose and attacked someone, it was just protecting its territory.”
[Photo By Shahrul Azman / Shutterstock]