Female zookeeper killed by Sumatran male tiger in New Zealand
Female zookeeper killed by Sumatran male tiger in New Zealand

Female zookeeper killed by Sumatran male tiger in New Zealand

A veteran New Zealand zookeeper has been attacked and killed by a Sumatran tiger inside the animal’s enclosure.

Police said they were called to the Hamilton Zoo, about 90 miles south of Auckland, at 11am after reports a female zookeeper had been set upon by one of the zoo’s five tigers. Police said the woman died at the scene.

All visitors were immediately asked to leave and the attraction will be closed until Thursday while authorities investigate the circumstances of the tragedy.

Zoo visitor Adam Rich told The New Zealand Herald newspaper he saw the tigers Sunday morning and noticed a female zookeeper opening up a gate to allow them access to an outdoor enclosure.

He said about 45 minutes to one hour later, zoo staff approached him and asked him to leave while offering refunds.

“They seemed a bit panicky,” he told the newspaper. “I thought an animal had escaped but they guaranteed that an animal did not escape.”

Hamilton City Council, which owns the zoo, said the tiger named Oz was the zoo’s only adult male.

He has been safely contained inside his enclosure. The council had no comment on whether the animal was likely to be put down.

The zoo has around 128,000 visitors each year, making it about the fourth most popular in New Zealand.

Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered, with less than 400 of the tiger subspecies still living in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.


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