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Animals

Zookeeper Mauled To Death By Siberian Tiger After Electric Fence Was Turned Off

South Africa: An experienced zookeeper was mauled to death by a Siberian Tiger after the 12feet high electric fence was switched off.

According to reports, the fence was turned off because it was under maintenance. 

The victim has been identified as David Solomon.

A spokesperson for the Seaview Predator Park talked about the incident, where they said:

It is with deep regret that we can confirm the death of our employee David Solomon after he was attacked by a Siberian tiger. The electric fencing in the enclosure housing our Siberian tigers Jasper and Jade was being repaired when Jasper jumped on the exterior fence and got out. David was unfortunately in the passageway between two tiger enclosures walking towards the water supply taps when the incident occurred and Jasper got out. David attempted to climb the fence of a different enclosure to get to safety but was pulled off the fence by Jasper.

It is said that the tiger bit Solomon during the incident, however, the cause of death was broken neck.

The tiger reportedly jumped the exterior fence of the next-door enclosure, which is the house of Judah and Amber, two other Siberian Tigers.

Judah and Jasper then got into a fight, which left Judah dead.

The spokesman went on:

Judah was killed. Jasper, being an entire male Siberian tiger, wanted the attentions of Amber, an entire female Siberian Tiger, who was in the enclosure with Judah.

As the incident happened, an emergency was declared and everyone was asked to leave the area.

He went on:

Members of the public who were at the restaurant were kept there until it was safe for them to return to their vehicles and exit the Park after the police arrived,” the spokesman said. David Solomon had been at the Seaview Predator Park for about 15 years and knew each of the animals since they were cubs. We are all one big family and the loss of David has left every one of us heartbroken and traumatised specifically the staff and volunteers present when this occurred. Jasper’s incident is a first at the park and was fuelled by hormones and he is now calm and content in an enclosure with Amber and there are no plans to destroy Jasper. At no stage was any member of the public in any immediate danger and our request that visitors leave immediately is standard protocol should such an incident occur. Jasper is very much alive and both Jasper and Amber were tranquillised by the vet and spent the night in their night cages while we ensure the electric fencing is secure.

No other person was injured in the incident.

Sandra Janse van Rensburg, the Captain of the South African Police Service, released a statement about the incident saying that they have launched an investigation.

They added:

Detectives are investigating an inquest after a man was attacked by a tiger. It is alleged that on Wednesday at approximately 15.30pm an employer was working on an electric fence at one of the tiger enclosures when a tiger jumped the fence. The tiger attacked the worker and it is confirmed the worker died at the scene.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, may his soul rest in peace. 

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