WORLD NEWS
05/29/2017 06:58 pm ET

Tiger Attacks And Kills Keeper At U.K. Zoo

The Hamerton Zoo Park called the fatal incident a "freak accident."

A female zookeeper was mauled to death by a tiger Monday at the Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire, England, authorities confirmed. 

Cambridgeshire police said officers responded to a “serious incident” at the park, located about 70 miles north of London, about 11 a.m. local time. 

“A tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper,” the department said in a statement. “Sadly the female zoo keeper died at the scene.”

The fatal incident is “not believed to be suspicious,” and at no time did the tiger escape from its enclosure, authorities said. The victim’s name and age have not yet been released. The zoo was evacuated after the attack, according to the BBC.

The Hamerton Zoo confirmed the death in a statement Monday evening that said the matter “appears to have been a freak accident.” 

“A full investigation is currently underway and we hope that more details can be announced as soon as we are able,” the statement said. “All our thoughts and sympathies are with our colleagues friends and families at this dreadful time.”

The statement said the zoo would remain closed Tuesday. Among the park’s features is a “Land of the Tigers,” home to both Malayan and Bengal tigers, according to its website. It is unclear which tiger was involved in the attack. 

The incident marks at least the fourth time in a little over a year that a person has been killed by a zoo tiger.

In April 2016, a 38-year-old female zookeeper was killed by a Malayan tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo in Florida. In July, a 37-year-old woman was killed as she cleaned a tiger’s cage at the Terra Natura park in Benidor, Spain. And a man was killed in January after he climbed into a tiger’s enclosure at a Chinese zoo to avoid paying for admission. 

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