A Siberian tiger has killed a female zookeeper at a zoo in Switzerland in front of horrified visitors and employees.
Members of staff at the Zurich Zoo reportedly rushed to help a 55-year-old woman, who was being attacked by a Siberian tiger.
They were able to draw the tiger from the cage, however, their efforts to save the woman failed as she died at the scene.
The alarm was raised by visitors at around 1:20 pm on Saturday, which fell on July 4, 2020.
An investigation has been launched on why the zookeeper was inside the cage with the deadly Siberian tiger.
Judith Hoedl, the spokeswoman of the Zurich Police, released a statement about the incident, where she said:
Sadly all help came too late. The woman died at the scene.
Irina, the tiger, remains in her ‘usual environment’.
The statement added:
The incident of yesterday Saturday is extremely tragic and Zurich Zoo is deeply affected. Nevertheless, the zoo notes that the Amur tiger is a wild animal. A person in their facility is an intruder into their territory. In her reaction, she only followed her natural instincts. The incident therefore has no consequences for the animal.
Irina was born in 2015 at a zoo in Odense, Denmark, and was transferred to the Zurich zoo 1 year ago.
The Tiger had reportedly exhibited normal behavior.
The zookeeper, whose identity was not shared with the public, had been working at the zoo for a very long time.
Zoo Zurich director Severin Dressen said: “Our full sympathy is with the relatives of the victim.”
The Zurich City Police are currently looking for witnesses that saw the entire incident.
The police said:
Due to the situation encountered, the focus is on an accident. Exactly how it came about that both the tigress and the zookeeper stayed outside is still unclear and is being clarified.
Visitors and co-workers that were present in the zoo when the incident happened are being offered to go through psychological counseling.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, may her soul rest in peace.