Apparent white tiger attack kills keeper at Japan zoo

Apparent white tiger attack kills keeper at Japan zoo

A white tiger fatally mauled a male zoo keeper at a zoo in Kagoshima City on Monday, police said, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Oct. 8).

Akira Furusho, 40, was found collapsed and bleeding from the neck in a cage by a colleague after the Hirakawa Zoological Park closed for the day at 5 p.m.

He was confirmed dead shortly after being admitted to a local hospital, Kyodo News reported.

While the zoo was open as normal on Tuesday, the white tiger observation zone was restricted "as police continued to investigate the case", Nagasako told AFP. His autopsy results are pending.

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The tiger was sedated with a tranquiliser before rescue workers and police arrived at the scene.

"We can not imagine what happened", Akinori Ishido, the zoo's director, told reporters on Tuesday.

Furusho's family has asked that the zoo keep the tiger alive, according to NHK public television. No one reportedly saw the moment of the attack.

Police are investigating how the tiger - weighing 375 lbs and almost 6 feet long - managed to get into the enclosure at the same time as Mr Furusho. He said safety procedures at the zoo are designed in a way that keepers do not enter a cage for feeding or cleaning while animals are inside.

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