Siberian Tiger Kills Swiss Zookeeper in Enclosure: Zoo

July 5, 2020 Updated: July 5, 2020

A Siberian tiger killed a zookeeper in Switzerland in an enclosure while visitors looked on, said authorities.

Onlookers called for help when the tiger attacked the worker at around 1 p.m., the Zurich zoo said in a statement. Staff then lured out the tiger, named Irina, from the enclosure before first responders attended.

Despite their resuscitation measures, the zookeeper, 55, died at the scene, according to the zoo.

“Exactly how the tragic incident happened and why the animal keeper was in the facility at the same time as the tiger is now being investigated by the public prosecutor, the Zurich City Police, the Zurich Forensic Institute, and the Institute of Forensic Medicine,” officials said.

Zurich police spokeswoman Judith Hoedl said that “all help came too late. The woman died at the scene,” according to Fox News.

The big cat was born in 2015 in a zoo in Denmark before being transferred to Zurich.

Hoedl said an investigation is underway to determine why the worker was in the tiger enclosure at the same time as the animal.

The Zurich zoo said it would remain closed on Sunday, according to the BBC. Counseling would be made available for people who witnessed the fatal attack.

The zoo has only been open since June 6 after COVID-19-related restrictions were lifted, according to Swissinfo.

It’s not the first animal attack reported at the facility. In December of last year, a male Philippine crocodile grabbed a zookeeper’s arm during a cleaning.

The keeper was injured and had surgery, and the crocodile was killed.

Siberian tigers can get to be about 11 feet in length, and adult males can weigh up to 700 pounds.