Don’t put down killer big cat, say an­i­mal char­i­ties

Daily Mail - - News - By Ben Wilkin­son

CAM­PAIGN­ERS have called for the tiger that killed Rosa King to be kept alive, ar­gu­ing that the zookeeper would not have wanted it to be de­stroyed.

Cam­bridgeshire Police said the an­i­mal re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack was un­harmed. And aerial photographs of the small zoo showed all four tigers alive in their en­clo­sures yes­ter­day.

Some crit­ics said a zoo was no place for a wild an­i­mal, and ar­gued the big cat should be eu­thanised af­ter killing a hu­man.

But Chris Draper, from the Born Free Foun­da­tion, said: ‘There should be no ques­tion of killing the tiger. How­ever tragic this in­ci­dent was, killing the tiger would change noth­ing.’

Hamer­ton Zoo vis­i­tor Russ Neve also said the tiger should be spared.

He said: ‘At the end of the day, it’s a wild an­i­mal and only acted as it would have done. Ac­ci­dents can hap­pen.

‘Plus I’m pretty sure Rosa wouldn’t even think of it. The tigers at Hamer­ton had been bred in cap­tiv­ity in Ger­many and brought over when they were young.’

Mr Neve de­scribed the staff at the zoo as ‘very help­ful and pro­fes­sional’. He added: ‘This is why I’m so shocked by what has hap­pened. It is a tragic ac­ci­dent.’

How­ever, the zoo was crit­i­cised on its Face­book page. Trevor Buckle wrote: ‘Have said for years. An­i­mals should not be caged, this is what hap­pens!’

Thomas Faye added: ‘Close it down, an­i­mals should NOT be kept in zoos.’

One Twit­ter user said: ‘If it was a dog that killed that poor keeper it would have al­ready been put down – sorry, the tiger should be also.’

The two Malayan tigers kept in the en­clo­sure where Miss King died are very rare, with only a cou­ple of hun­dred of the species thought to be left in the wild.

The pair ar­rived from a Ger­man zoo two years ago and were the first to be seen in the UK.

In 2013 keeper Sarah McClay died when she was mauled by a Su­ma­tran tiger at South Lakes Wild An­i­mal Park, in Dal­tonin-Fur­ness, Cum­bria.

The an­i­mal was not put down af­ter her fam­ily said Miss McClay ‘would not have wanted it harmed’. It even­tu­ally died last year.

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