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This Is The Zookeeper Who Was Killed By A Tiger After It Entered An Enclosure

Rosa King, 33, was mauled in what Hamerton Zoo Park called a "freak accident."

Originally posted on
Updated on

The zookeeper who died on Monday after a tiger entered an enclosure has been named as Rosa King, 33.

Visitors were evacuated from Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire following the incident on Monday morning. The tiger did not get out of the enclosure and King's death is not believed to be suspicious.

"This appears to have been a freak accident," the zoo said in a statement. "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 will remain closed on Tuesday.

King had worked at Hamerton Zoo Park for about 14 years. Her mother Andrea told the Press Association: "She wouldn't have done anything else. It's what she has always done, it's what she has always loved."

King was well known for her enthusiasm for the zoo's big cats. Garry Chisolm, 59, a wildlife photographer who knew her from visiting the zoo, posted on Facebook: “Rosa wasn’t just a keeper at Hamerton Zoo – she WAS Hamerton Zoo. Her passion for the animals in her care was exceptional though her favourites were undoubtedly the cheetahs which she would refer to as her pride and joy.”

He added: “She will be greatly missed, not just by me but by everyone who came to know her. The only consolation I can take from today’s tragic events is that Rosa is now reunited with her beloved Ares the cheetah and Blizzard and Ladybelle her beloved tigers.”

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Visitor Pete Davis, 55, was there when the zoo was evacuated. He told The Sun: “All hell broke loose. It was total panic.”

He added: “She let out a blood-curdling scream and then another keeper ran out shouting ‘Run!’ It was a case of total panic. There were keepers rushing about throwing buckets of meat to try to get the tigers under control.

“They ushered us away to another building. You could see the keepers with their heads in their hands.”

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.

Another visitor, Kevin Fernandez, posted on Facebook: "We just see everyone runnin outta the tiger bit n all the staff was shouting run get out .. we had to leave the zoo .. a boy was missing loads of ambulances turned up."

A coroner's van was seen by the BBC entering the zoo on Monday afternoon.

In 2008, a cheetah escaped from the park and was found by a 9-year-old boy in his back garden. It was believed to have got out through a faulty electric fence.

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Emily Dugan is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Dugan at emily.dugan@buzzfeed.com.

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