Zookeeper Killed by Tiger in Enclosure After Witnesses Heard Her Screams
At no time was an animal on the loose in the park, the British zoo said.
A female zookeeper was killed by a tiger in England in what officials at the facility are calling a “freak accident.”
The woman, who has not yet been identified, was in one of Hamerton Zoo Park’s enclosures when a tiger entered, according to reports.
Police said the employee died on the scene. Visitors were immediately led away from the zoo.
"A full investigation is currently underway and we hope that more details can be announced as soon as we are able,” the zoo wrote on their Facebook page.
A visitor at the zoo told the BBC that the attack happened at about 11:45 a.m.
"We were close to the tiger enclosure when a member of staff shouted for everyone to leave the park quickly and immediately,” the person, who did not want to be identified, told the news organization.
Update Hamerton Zoo Park: A keeper sadly died when a tiger entered the enclosure with her. At no point did the tiger escape from enclosure.May 29, 2017
Witnesses told The Telegraph that they heard screams and other keepers were desperately trying to distract the tigers with meat.
Pete Davis, who had also been visiting the zoo, told the paper it was clear something terrible had happened.
“There's no doubting it was a girl's scream," he said. "It sounds like a tiger turned on her."
The park also noted that no animals escaped their enclosures at any point.
“All our thoughts and sympathies are with our colleagues, friends and families at this dreadful time,” they wrote.
The park will be closed Tuesday.
The tragedy comes a year after a Florida zookeeper, 38-year-old Stacey Konwiser, was fatally attacked by a 13-year-old Malayan tiger inside a secured enclosure. She suffered a neck injury and also had a broken spine, according to her autopsy.
Konwiser had entered the "night house," where the tigers eat and sleep, and her view of the animal might have been limited, according to TIME. The tiger's cage was open, though it was supposed to be locked.
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