Stacey Kornwiser, 'Tiger Whisperer'

Tragedy struck West Palm Beach, Florida this week when avid tiger lover and nicknamed ‘tiger whisperer’ Stacey Kronwiser was killed by the very creature she had given her life to serving. Kornwiser is survived by her husband, Jeremy Kornwiser, also a keeper at the Palm Beach Zoo. She was 38.

Initial reports state that Kornwiser did nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly nothing out of protocol, when setting up an intimate tiger viewing for select zoo patrons. It is believed she was alone when the attack occurred. Safety protocols were initiated, and the tiger was tranquilized. Tragically, it took too long for the tranquilizer to take effect, and Kornwiser’s life was lost.

Nietzsche once proposed, ‘it does not take a day to recognize sunshine’ and we at EcoSmart Designs have long praised other animal-lovers such as the Kornwisers. Stacey Kornwiser was not just a fellow animal-lover, she was also an activist and conservationist, as all zoo employees with daily animal interaction are. 
Her life’s dedication to animals, and more specifically the tiger species, should be greatly commended, and respectfully remembered.

It’s easy to take for granted the risk zookeepers experience on their jobs day-in and day-out. No amount of procedural protocols – which was reported that Kornwiser followed exactly, even at the time of the attack – can change the fact that the beautiful creatures just on the other side of the glass are still very much ‘wild’ animals, and should be treated accordingly. Despite these ever-upgrading procedures and protocols, animal attacks at zoos are not completely uncommon. They are terrible reminders that life, like these animals, is never to be taken for granted.

Instead, life should be celebrated! EcoSmart Designs joins in the thousands of voices mourning – yet celebrating – Kornwiser’s life and life work. Tiger designs have long graced our product shelves, and we are glad they are choosing to let the tiger involved in the Palm Beach Zoo attack live. It’ the way Stacey Kornwiser would have wanted it. For she would certainly be the first to tell you that conservation may not always be easy, yet it is the right thing to do. From the plains of Africa, to the mountains of Colorado where we handcraft all of our pewter jewelry, our appreciation and celebration of big cats knows no bounds. And we like to think that’s just the way Stacey Kornwiser would want it.

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