Elderly zookeeper mauled to death by tigers at closed-down Italian zoo


Elderly zookeeper mauled to death by tigers at closed-down Italian zoo

A 72-year-old man has been killed and eaten by three caged tigers that he cared for at a closed-down zoo in Italy.

Mauro Lagiard was feeding the group of tigers on Tuesday when they attacked him at the zoo in Pinerolo near Turin.

Lagiard's wife raised the alarm and watched helplessly as her husband was dragged 100ft by the predators.

According to the Daily Mail, police said his dismembered body was found near the tigers' water trough.

Reuters reports that the zoo was closed in 2009 because of financial difficulties and the owners had not managed to relocate the nine tigers and leopard kept there.

The couple lived in a camper van at the zoo and cared for the animals.

Anna Balangelo, mayor of San Pietro Val Lemina where the zoo is located, told La Gazzetta Del Mezzogiorno that the incident was just waiting to happen.

"The transfer of the tigers was imminent," she said but "the owners didn't want to part with the animals".

Mrs Lagiard refused to blame the tigers and said that if she had fed the animals instead of Mauro, "it would never have happened" as her husband and the alpha-male tiger did not get on.

The tigers that attacked Mauro are reportedly being cared for by vets and could be put down.

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