Zookeeper mauled to death by tiger in Benidorm

The woman was found inside the tiger's cage at Terra Natura

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), close-up

A zookeeper was attacked and killed by a tiger at an animal park in Benidorm, Spain.

The 37-year-old female keeper's body was found inside the cage at around 5pm on Saturday, a Red Cross spokesperson said.

See also: Woman jumps zoo safety fence to get hat from tiger pen

See also: Tiger attacks keeper at Steve Irwin's zoo

AFP reports that zoo staff at the Terra Natura park euthanized the tiger with sedative darts so that workers could enter the enclosure.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

News website Ultima Hora reported that the zookeeper had left a gate to the tiger area open.

The park was reportedly open at the time but no visitors witnessed the attack.

Police are investigating the death.

In April, a keeper was killed in a tiger attack at a zoo in Florida.

Stacey Konwiser, 38, lead tiger keeper at the Palm Beach Zoo, was killed by a 13-year-old male Malayan tiger, one of four at the facility, in the contained area where the animals are fed and sleep.

Konwiser had been preparing to talk visitors about the animals during the 'Tiger Talk' when the fatal incident occurred.

Zoo spokesperson Naki Carter said the tiger was off-exhibit at the time and no guests saw what happened.

Carter said Stacey had a special bond with the big cats.

In pictures: the world's endangered predators

In pictures: the world's endangered predators

Zookeeper Mauled to Death by Tiger