A British zoo on Tuesday investigated the mauling of a keeper by a tiger, which sparked an evacuation as other keepers threw meat into the enclosure in an attempt to lure the animal away.
Rosa King, 33, was killed on Monday at Hamerton Zoo Park in eastern England when a tiger got into an enclosure, in what the visitor attraction called a “freak accident”.
The BBC cited a witness as saying he heard screams and saw zookeepers throwing meat into the enclosure to try and entice the tiger away. The local police force said there were no suspicious circumstances. The tiger has not been put down and was unharmed.
“A tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper. Sadly the female zookeeper died at the scene,” the force said.
King looked after the carnivores at the zoo, a 25-acre park which is home to Malaysian and Bengal tigers according to its website. Her mother Andrea said she had worked at the zoo for around 14 years, adding: “She wouldn’t have done anything else, it’s what she has always done, it’s what she has always loved.”
The zoo said it would be closed while an investigation takes place, adding that public safety had not been affected.
Garry Chisholm, 59, a wildlife photographer in his spare time who knew King through visiting the zoo, said the park revolved around the keeper.
“Rosa wasn’t just a keeper at Hamerton Zoo — she was Hamerton Zoo,” he said.
“She was the shining light of it.”