A tiger that killed a keeper at a Cambridgeshire zoo will not be euthanised, bosses have said.

Rosa King
Hamerton Zoo Park keeper Rosa King.

The decision not to destroy the animal has been “fully supported” by the family of victim Rosa King, who died following the incident at Hamerton Zoo Park.

‘Freak accident’

An investigation is ongoing into the 34-year-old’s death, which was described as a “freak accident” by the zoo.

The park said on Monday: “After extensive consultation with the staff at the zoo, we have decided not to put down the tiger. This decision has been fully supported by Rosa’s family.

“We are awaiting the findings of the investigation to fully understand what happened before we take further action on this matter.

“If we receive regulatory or professional guidance to the contrary, we will review our position.”


Following her death, Ms King’s family said she “lived and breathed a vocation that meant the world to her”.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary said it was called to Hamerton Zoo Park at 11:15am on 29 May to reports of a serious incident.

“A tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper – sadly, the female zookeeper died at the scene,” a spokesman said.

Not suspicious

The force said it did not believe the incident was suspicious. The tiger was not harmed and a joint investigation with Huntingdonshire District Council is ongoing.

In May 2013, keeper Sarah McClay died after being mauled by a Sumatran tiger at South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria. The zoo was fined £255,000 at Preston Crown Court in June 2016 following the 24-year-old employee’s death.

Bengal tigers at Hamerton Zoo Park. It is unknown which animal was involved. IMAGE: Laura Ngo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).


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