Parents of Hamerton zoo keeper Rosa King pay tribute to caring, generous daughter who lived life to the full

PUBLISHED: 13:38 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:57 02 June 2017

Rosa King Picture: Hamerton Zoo Park Facebook

Rosa King Picture: Hamerton Zoo Park Facebook


The proud parents thanked those that have shown an abundance of love and sympathy at the passing of their daughter.

The family of Rosa King, who was tragically killed by a tiger at Hamerton Park Zoo where she worked, have released a statement.

It read: “Rosa was a dedicated professional when it came to her work.

“She lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her, living her dream.

“She had a care and understanding of her animals that was a joy and privilege to behold.

“As well as our daughter, Rosa was a big sister to her brother Mark, who like his parents, had nothing but love and admiration for her.

“Rosa was passionate about animals from the age of 2 when she first sat on the back of a horse. After that, her life was always going to be about animals.

“She lived her life to the full and was a very caring, generous person.

“She would stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves including the animals and campaigned and raised money for animal charities.

“Rosa completed a skydive in 2014 to raise money for Animal Asia and then travelled to China to visit the sanctuary for Moon bears to see for herself the work they do, and just recently returned from a visit to a Sun bear rehabilitation centre in Borneo.

“Rosa’s whole attitude to the animal kingdom is probably best summed up in the following statement.

“When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.”

“As a family, we now kindly ask for privacy in this matter.”

The police are continuing to investigate the incident, which the zoo is calling a ‘freak accident’, in which a tiger found its way into an enclosure that Ms King was working in.

The zoo also released a statement: “Thank you all for your kind expressions of sympathy and support at this very difficult time.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Rosa’s family and friends, many of whom worked alongside her at the Zoo.

“Rosa was not only an invaluable and highly respected member of our team, first and foremost, she was our friend and we miss her very much.

“Rosa’s passion and commitment to animals and wildlife were an inspiration to all those who worked with and knew her.

“We are still coming to terms with what has happened and we are incredibly grateful for your care and concern.”

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