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December 20, 2013

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Killer tiger moved to isolated area in zoo

A SOUTH China tiger that mauled an animal keeper to death on Tuesday will be kept isolated from the others for the rest of its life, the Shanghai Zoo said yesterday.

The tiger has been kept in isolation since the incident.

The South China tigers fall under critically endangered category and cannot be killed, the zoo said. Besides, according to the Chinese law, human beings who raise animals should bear responsibility when they hurt people. The nine-year-old male tiger has sired cubs.

The breeding area where the incident happened did not have video surveillance cameras or alarm facilities because it was supposed to be dismantled and rebuilt under a relocation plan.

Tu Rongxiu, director of the zoo’s feeding division, said the area would have been reconstructed and installed with security facilities but delayed them because of relocation plans. The park has strengthened safety patrols, fixed cages, and checked facilities after the incident.

On Tuesday morning, the keeper surnamed Zhou who had taken care of the tiger for around four years was killed in the breeding area near the zoo in Changning District.

It is believed Zhou forgot to close a gate when he entered the area. The doors of three tiger cages were open when he was found lying in a pool of blood.

He had worked at the zoo for about 30 years and was due to retire in three years time when tragedy struck.



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