ZOOKEEPER killed by escaped tigers in Indonesia
A 47-year-old zookeeper was found dead after two female Sumatran tigers escaped from their enclosure when a landslide, brought on by heavy rain, damaged one of the walls. The endangered animals, both around 18-months-old, fled the Sinka Zoo on Friday night, February 5. The zookeeper was discovered with bite marks and scratches all over his body close to where the tigers were housed. Several dead animals, including an ostrich and monkey, were also found around the zoo.
Officials launched a frantic search for the escaped tigers in the town of Singkawang, West Kalimantan, on Borneo Island, as public attractions were shut down and people were warned to remain indoors, according to the AFP news agency. On Saturday, February 6, one of the animals was sedated with a tranquiliser and returned to her enclosure; unfortunately, the other endangered animal had to be shot when she turned aggressive and attempts to sedate her failed.
“We tried with a tranquilliser gun first but it didn’t work, so we were forced to shoot the tiger because it was already behaving very aggressively,” Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, the head of a local conservation agency, told AFP.
“We were afraid it would escape to the nearest neighbourhood,” he added. “Although we tried our best to catch it alive, our priority is humans’ safety.”
Sumatran tigers are on the critically endangered species list, and only 400 are believed to remain in the wild today.
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