Zookeeper Killed By Siberian Tiger After Beast Escapes
A Siberian tiger in a South African predator park killed a man Wednesday.
“It is with deep regret that the Owners and Management of Seaview Predator Park confirm the death of employee David Solomon after he was attacked (not mauled) by a Siberian tiger on Wednesday afternoon 16 June 2021,” a press release from the Seaview Predator Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa stated.
According to park management, the tiger Jasper jumped on the exterior fence surrounding his enclosure and escaped after the electrical fencing securing the enclosures where the Siberian tigers were kept was under repair.
When the big cat made his getaway, Solomon was walking towards water supply taps in the passageway separating the two enclosures.
Seeing Jasper, David tried to climb onto the fence of another enclosure to remain safe from the animal. However, the tiger found him and pulled him off the fence, park management said.
“We confirm that David obviously had bite marks but it would seem that Jasper broke David’s neck when he pulled David off the fence,” the press release reads. (RELATED: Herd Of Wild Elephants Trample Suspected Poacher To Death)
Jasper then, according to the news release, entered a nearby fence housing two other tigers, Judah and Amber, before starting a fight with, and then eventually killing, Judah.
The park said that “Jasper, being an entire male Siberian tiger, wanted the attentions of Amber, an entire female Siberian Tiger.”
Jasper was then tranquilized, the press release stated.
“David Solomon had been at the Seaview Predator Park for about 15 years and knew each of the animals since they were cubs. We are all one big family and the loss of David has left every single one of us heartbroken and traumatised, specifically the staff members and volunteers who were present when the incident occurred,” the park said.
“Out of respect for David” the park remained shut on Thursday, according to the press release.
The park said that Jasper “is now quite calm” and is in the same enclosure as Amber. According to the press release, there are “no plans” to put Jasper down.