She died do­ing job she loved, says mum

Daily Mail - - News - By Ben Wilkin­son

THE mother of mauled zookeeper Rosa King yes­ter­day said her daugh­ter died do­ing the job she loved.

Friends and fam­ily de­scribed the 33year-old as a ‘shin­ing light’ at Hamer­ton Zoo, where she was killed by a tiger on Mon­day. Mum An­drea King, 54, led tributes say­ing: ‘She wouldn’t have done any­thing else, it’s what she has al­ways done, it’s what she has al­ways loved.’ Wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher Garry Chisholm, 59, said: ‘Rosa wasn’t just a keeper at Hamer­ton Zoo – she was Hamer­ton Zoo. Her pas­sion for the an­i­mals in her care was ex­cep­tional though her favourites were un­doubt­edly the chee­tahs.

‘I feel priv­i­leged to have known Rosa. The only con­so­la­tion I can take from these tragic events is that she is now re­united with her beloved Ares the chee­tah, and Bl­iz­zard and Lady­belle, her beloved tigers.’

Miss King grew up in Chip­pen­ham, Wilt­shire, and stud­ied for a diploma in an­i­mal care at Wilt­shire Col­lege.

She had worked at the Cam­bridgeshire zoo for about 14 years be­fore her death.

Zo­ol­ogy stu­dent Philip Caso, from Peter­bor­ough, wrote on­line: ‘Rosa loved those an­i­mals to the point where each and ev­ery one was like a child to her.’

Zoo vis­i­tor Russ Neve, 4 , who took part in a tiger-feed­ing ex­pe­ri­ence less than two months ago, said: ‘Her knowl­edge about tigers was sec­ond to none.

‘The ex­pe­ri­ence was only sup­posed to last around 45 min­utes, but I was there for two hours just talk­ing to her about the tigers – it was a real plea­sure.’

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