Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Japan zookeeper mauled to death in rare attack

Riku the white tiger that reportedly attacked a zookeeper More Riku the white tiger that reportedly attacked a zookeeper More
Melinda Barton | 09 October, 2018, 21:58

Akira Furusho, 40, was found collapsed and bleeding from the neck in a cage by a colleague after the Hirakawa Zoological Park closed for the day at 5 p.m.

A rare white tiger has mauled to death its keeper in a zoo in southern Japan, zoo official Takuro Nakazako told CNN.

A veterinarian at the zoo used a tranquiliser dart to sedate the five-year-old male tiger, named Riku, before staff could reach Mr Furusho.

Police are investigating how the zoological park looks after the four white tigers it keeps, while labor authorities interviewed some zoo workers to see if the zoo had possibly violated a law on safety at work. He was declared dead in hospital.

Their white fur comes as a result of a genetic mutation, and occurs in as few as one in every 10,000 tigers.

The Hirakawa Zoological Park opened for business on Tuesday, though the tiger enclosure was cordoned off.

Another cub also joined in, before dragging Anji's body further into the enclosure.

In 1997, a Japanese couple were killed when they were attacked by tigers at a safari park in central Japan.

"Anji entered the cage to clean bones, not realising the tigers were there".

When zookeepers managed to scare the tigers off, Anji had already died from his injuries.