Death of zookeeper mauled by tiger will be investigated by police
Rosa King, 34, died on Monday after an incident in the tiger enclosure at Hamerton Zoo Park. Police said although the circumstances are not suspicious, King’s death remains unexplained.
A joint investigation is underway between local police and Huntingdonshire District Council, which is responsible for licensing the zoo.
“Both the police and the council are working together within routine protocols to progress investigations into the incident as efficiently and effectively as possible,” a spokesperson for the council told the BBC.
Peter Davis was visiting the zoo when the incident occurred. He told the BBC he and his family were ordered to evacuate.
They hid in a room until they were escorted out of the park.
“As we came out, we were sort of ushered further away, but we were still looking at what was going on, and you could obviously see the keepers all distressed, not really knowing what to do, heads in their hands,” he said.
“A couple of them were throwing meat over the enclosure to try and entice the tiger away, but it was going on probably for 10 to 15 minutes.”
King’s mother Andrea told the BBC her daughter loved her job and “wouldn't have done anything else, it’s what she has always done.”
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.— Cambs police (@CambsCops) May 29, 2017
King had worked for the zoo since she was 20.
The zoo itself called the death a “freak accident.”
“At no point during the incident did any animals escape their enclosures and at no point was public safety affected in any way,” the zoo said in a statement.
The tiger has not been put down and was reportedly unharmed.