The tiger male Sayan in the restricted area at the Zoo Zurich after the accident in the tiger enclosure where a female keeper was attacked and fatally injured by a female tiger, in Zurich, Switzerland, Saturday, July 4, 2020. Two adult Amur tigers live in the tiger enclosure: the five-year-old female Irina and the four-and-a-half-year-old male Sayan.
A zoo keeper in Switzerland died after she was attacked by a Siberian tiger as visitors looked on in horror Saturday.
The attack occurred inside Zurich's zoo Saturday afternoon, zoo officials said. Zoo goers who witnessed the attack alerted staff, and other zoo keepers rushed in to lure the big cat away from the zoo keeper.
Zoo officials did not identify the keeper but said she was a 55-year-old woman.
"Sadly all help came too late. The woman died at the scene," Zurich police spokeswoman Judith Hoedl said.
The zoo was closed Sunday but reopened Monday, though the tiger complex remains closed, the zoo said in a statement. An investigation was underway to determine how and why the keeper was in the same enclosure as the tiger.
The Siberian tiger, named Irina, was taken to another enclosure after the attack, but the zoo said in a statement there would be "no consequences for the animal."
The tiger "is a wild animal. A person in their facility is an intruder into their territory. In her reaction, she only followed her natural instincts," zoo officials said in a statement.
The zoo said counseling would be available for visitors and staff who witnessed the attack. The zoo recently reopened after coronavirus-related shutdowns.
According to National Geographic, Siberian tigers are the world's largest cats, growing more than 10 feet long and weighing more than 600 pounds.