Tiger escapes German zoo and kills woman

Updated: 

Tiger escapes from Cologne zoo and kills female zoo keeperStock 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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