DailyMail The zoo keeper mauled to death by a tiger had told a friend she feared another of her animals saw her as ‘his next meal’. Rosa King, 33, was killed by the big cat on Monday when it made its way into an enclosure where she was working at Hamerton Zoo in Cambridgeshire. Friends have spoken of Miss King’s love of animals as it emerged the zoo’s owners were warned about safety failings several times over the past decade. Inspectors had highlighted problems with ageing safety barriers and a damaged fence, and ordered the zoo to amend its escape protocols. Friend Tracey Eyre, 48, said Miss King was always vigilant as she knew she was dealing with ‘dangerous, wild animals’. Ms Eyre told the Daily Mirror: ‘She said [another tiger] Blizzard often looked at her as if to say ‘you’re going to be my next meal if I get the chance’.’She adored those tigers, they were like family to her, they were her little babies.’ It is believed a barrier separating the enclosure, which Miss King was cleaning, and the tiger pen experienced a malfunction or was accidentally left unlocked. The zoo will remain closed as an investigation by police and Huntingdonshire District Council takes place. A spokesman for Hamerton Zoo Park in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, said in a statement today: ‘Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Rosa’s family and friends, many of whom worked alongside her at the zoo. ‘We are cooperating fully with the investigation that is currently being conducted by Huntingdonshire District Council environmental health department. ‘The zoo will remain closed for the time being. We are not able to comment further at this time.’ Cambridgeshire police said the tiger has not been harmed, adding: ‘We are jointly investigating with the council.’ Witnesses described hearing ‘blood-curdling screams’ as the tiger attacked Miss King, while her colleagues frantically tried to lure it away with chunks of meat. It is understood she was savaged in the Tiger Falls enclosure, which opened last year for its two rare Malayan tigers Cicip and Sahaja. But as long ago as 2007, the zoo’s owners were told to improve standards, with a particular emphasis on safety, according to official inspection reports. When the park was visited by a Government-appointed inspector in August that year, she noted a ‘lack of awareness of current practice’ and ordered a ‘complete overhaul of all risk assessments and safe working practices’.
These are the risks you take when you work with wild animals on a daily basis, all it takes is one barrier to be slightly faulty or one slight human error when it comes to safety protocols, and your life is over. Zookeeper Rosa King was mauled to death by a tiger at the Hamerton Zoo in the United Kimgdom, and based on initial reports, a faulty barrier which had previously raised safety concerns is to blame for the attack. King’s screams were heard by zoo visitors, who ran horrified from the scene, and the zoo remains closed to the public. Sad news, especially since Rosa King’s death was preventable if the zoo made the recommended safety upgrades, it sounds like the zoo will be hot with a large lawsuit in the near future.
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