Man Commits Suicide In Tiger Enclosure
Tuesday, 26 May 2009 10:58 KR News
Tigers mauled and partly ate the body of a former zoo keeper, after he apparently committed suicide in their enclosure
The body of a former employee of Næstved Zoo was partly eaten by tigers after the man broke into their enclosure on Sunday night
Ekstra Bladet newspaper reports that the remains of the man were found by zoo staff on Monday morning, but local police would not confirm the details of the tragedy, saying only that the man died of smoke inhalation and not from the tiger attack.
An investigation showed that the man broke into the tiger enclosure with a flammable substance, where he set fire to the straw and opened the door to the animals’ cage so they could get access to him.
A source told the newspaper that the body had been badly mauled by the tigers, which ate parts of the man’s legs and lower abdomen.
The man had been employed as an animal keeper at the South Zealand zoo for ten months, where he was described as having a deep fascination with the zoo’s Bengalese tigers. He developed a mental illness last winter which resulted in him losing his job due to the perceived security risk.
The zoo has two tigers - a female and a rare white male – and recently welcomed two new cubs to the world.
Zoo owner Peter Bo Rasmussen said that the death was a tragedy but it would not affect the way staff interact with the animals.