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Zookeeper dies after tiger attack

Radio New Zealand Radio New Zealand 20/09/2015 andrew.mcrae@radionz.co.nz
Oz, a male tiger attacked the female keeper © Facebook Oz, a male tiger attacked the female keeper

A female worker at Hamilton Zoo has died after being attacked by a tiger.

A spokesperson for the zoo said the tiger was a male called Oz.

It was living in an enclosure with a female tiger. The zoo would not confirm exactly how the attack happened.

Police and workplace inspector are now at the zoo.

The zoo will remain closed until at least Thursday.

There are two female zoo keepers working at the zoo, but the zoo has not yet released the name of the dead woman.

Emergency services were called to the zoo just after 11am this morning but were unable to save the female zookeeper who died at the scene.

It is understood she was cleaning out a cage at the time.

Waikato police Senior Sergeant Juliet Burgess said it was a tragic accident and too early to determine exactly what happened.

Police are working with Hamilton Zoo staff and WorkSafe New Zealand to investigate the incident.

They said the name of the victim would not be released today.

The zoo's website says there are over 600 native and exotic animals living on site, including the Sumatran tiger.

There are five tigers at the zoo, a male and female in one enclosure, and a female and two cubs in another enclosure.

Sali, one of the other tigers © Facebook/Hamilton Zoo Sali, one of the other tigers

The 25 hectare zoo was founded in 1969 in the suburb of Rotokauri and is owned by the Hamilton City Council.

In 2013, a tiger took a swipe at a keeper at the zoo after a door was mistakenly left open.

Security at the zoo was upgraded after the incident.

Oz moved from Auckland Zoo to Hamilton Zoo for breeding in 2013. The tiger is 11 years old.

It was relocated from Tel Aviv to Auckland in 2006 and fathered Auckland Zoo's first tiger cubs.

There are five tigers at the zoo, according  to the Hamilton Zoo Facebook page © Facebook There are five tigers at the zoo, according to the Hamilton Zoo Facebook page




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