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.
Sign up for our newsletter
EL PAÍS English Edition has launched a weekly newsletter. Sign up today to receive a selection of our best stories in your inbox every Saturday morning. For full details about how to subscribe, click here.
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.