ANIMAL ATTACK

Zookeeper killed by tiger at Benidorm wildlife park

The woman suffered fatal injuries from the attack, which took place after she left a door to the animals’ enclosure open

Tigers at the Terra Natura park in Benidorm.
Tigers at the Terra Natura park in Benidorm.Pep García

An employee at the Terra Natura wildlife park in Benidorm (Alicante) died on Saturday after being attacked by a tiger, which escaped after the keeper left open a door of its enclosure.

According to sources close to the investigation into the incident, the attack happened at 5pm after the female keeper “accidently” left the door to the area where the tigers were half open. She was then attacked by one of the animals, suffering fatal injuries.

Ambulances were called to the scene but could only certify the death of the woman

Ambulances were called to the scene but could only certify the death of the woman.

Terra Natura released a statement in which it said that the park “complies with a strict safety protocol for the handling of animals,” and for reasons that “are under investigation,” the employee “entered into direct contact with the animal while cleaning the interior pens.”

The area where the attack happened is not accessible or visible to members of the public, the same sources explained.

The manager of the park, Alberto Gaforio, said on Sunday that he trusted that the circumstances of the “fatal incident” could be cleared up “as soon as possible,” and as such a judicial investigation has been opened. Gaforio also explained that the victim had a “wide experience as a zoo keeper.”

“She had been with us for eight years working with felines and all kinds of species,” he said. “She was very professional and had a lot of experience, and we still don’t know for sure what could have happened.”

He conveyed his “condolences” on the part of the park’s management team and staff to the family of the keeper and said that they were all “concerned and devastated over what had happened.”

English version by Simon Hunter.

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