Female keeper killed at Hamerton Zoo Park in tiger incident

PUBLISHED: 14:53 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 21:07 29 May 2017

Hamerton Zoo Park keeps a number of tigers including Bengal tigers

Hamerton Zoo Park keeps a number of tigers including Bengal tigers

Guenter Guni

The Cambridgeshire zoo says it was a “freak accident”.

An ambulance outside A&EAn ambulance outside A&E

A female keeper has been killed at Hamerton Zoo Park near Sawtry, after a tiger “entered an enclosure”,

The zoo was evacuated on Bank Holiday Monday followed what it called a “freak accident”.

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “A tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper. Sadly the female zoo keeper died at the scene.”

Police confirmed that the tiger did not escape the enclosure.

A statement from Hamerton Zoo Park read: “We are sorry but our staff are too distressed to speak directly to the media, as one of our colleagues was killed at Hamerton Zoo Park, this morning.

“This appears to have been a freak accident.

“The park will be closed from tomorrow, 30th May, as a full investigation is currently under way, and we hope that more details can be announced as soon as we are able.

“At no point during the incident did any animals escape their enclosures, and at no point was public safety affected in any way.

“All our thoughts and sympathies are with our colleagues, friends and families at this dreadful time.”

The police spokesperson added: “We were called at around 11.15am to reports of a serious incident at Hamerton Zoo Park, Steeple Gidding.

“Officers attended the scene along with ambulance crews and Magpas.”

A Magpas spokesperson also confirmed that no animals escaped enclosures and that the enhanced medical team was called to the incident,

The 25-acre wildlife park, which opened in June 1990, opened its ‘Land of the Tigers’ in 2014. It keeps Bengal tigers, including the white sub-species, and opened a new enclosure for Malaysian tigers in July 2016. It also keeps cheetahs, wolves, corsac foxes, kangaroos, lemurs and other primates, birds, reptiles and domestic animals.

A nine-year-old boy found an escaped cheetah from the zoo in his family’s back garden in October 2008.

The boy had been playing on his bike when he saw it and fled inside to tell his mother.

The cheetah had escaped via a faulty electric fence and was recaptured.

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