Zoo tiger death: Victim named as Rosa King

A zoo-keeper who died after a tiger entered an enclosure at a wildlife park in Cambridgeshire has been named as 33-year-old Rosa King.

The death happened at Hamerton Zoo Park, near Huntingdon, at about 11:15 BST on Monday.

Wildlife photographer Garry Chisholm, who worked with Ms King, said: “I tried to get in touch with Rosa but couldn’t get through.”

The zoo said it was a freak accident, and police said it was not suspicious.

Mr Chisholm, from Northamptonshire, took pictures of cheetahs for one of the wildlife park’s animal experiences.

He said: “One of Rosa’s favourite animals were cheetahs. She would raise money for them, and even did a parachute jump.”

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “A tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper. Sadly the female zoo keeper died at the scene.”

Visitors were led away from the zoo. At no time did the animal escape from the enclosure, said police.

Officers investigating the death said it was “not believed to be suspicious”, and that the tiger involved was “believed to be fine”.

Hamerton Zoo Park said in a statement: “This appears to have been a freak accident.

“At no point during the incident did any animals escape their enclosures and at no point was public safety affected in any way.

“All our thoughts and sympathies are with our colleagues, friends and families at this dreadful time.

“The park will be closed from tomorrow, 30 May, and we will give more information as soon as we can.”

The wildlife park said an investigation was under way.

Hamerton Zoo Park

The wildlife park opened in June 1990 and covers 25 acres.

It includes enclosures for Malaysian tigers, Bengal tigers, cheetahs, wolves, corsac foxes, kangaroos as well as a variety of birds, reptiles and domestic animals.

The zoo opened a new enclosure for its Malaysian tigers in July last year.

In October 2008 a cheetah which escaped from the park was found by a nine-year-old boy in the back garden of his family home.

A visitor to the zoo, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC: “We got to the zoo at opening time, around 11:45.

“We were close to the tiger enclosure when a member of staff shouted for everyone to leave the park quickly and immediately.”

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