Tiger escapes German zoo and kills woman

Katy Holland
Tiger escapes from Cologne zoo and kills female zoo keeper
Tiger escapes from Cologne zoo and kills female zoo keeper

Stock photo/PA

A zookeeper has been mauled to death by a tiger which escaped from its enclosure at Cologne Zoo.

The male tiger got through a security gate that had been left open, and attacked the 43-year-old woman who was working in a building nearby.

Armed officers moved in and secured the area, and a helicopter was scrambled.

The animal, which escaped at lunchtime today (Saturday) was eventually shot dead with a rifle fired by the zoo's director, Theo Pagel.

A report in the German news site the Express says that Pagel climbed onto a nearby building to shoot the tiger.

Speaking after the incident, he said: "This is the darkest day of my life."

Police spokesman Stefan Kirchner told the Associated Press: "It appears the gate wasn't properly shut."

Doctors fought to save the keeper's life, but she died from her wounds later in hospital.

Altai was a four-year-old tiger who was moved to Cologne Zoo last April.

See below for a video of Altai at Cologne Zoo a few weeks ago


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