Source Pravda.Ru

Denver Zoo, police investigate jaguar's fatal attack on keeper

Officials on Sunday were trying to determine why a zookeeper killed by a jaguar had opened the door to the animal's enclosure when zoo policies ban staff members from entering exhibits when big cats are inside.

The Denver Zoo's feline exhibits were closed Sunday for the investigation. Zoo officials also were interviewing staff members to determine what happened.

The zookeeper, whose identity was not released, had opened a door leading from a service area into Jorge's enclosure on Saturday. A visitor saw the attack from outside the glass enclosure, and his shouts alerted other keepers, zoo spokeswoman Ana Bowie said.

Under zoo policy, staff cannot be in any large cat exhibit when the animal is there.

The jaguar, a 140-pound (64-kilo) male named Jorge, had no history of unusual behavior, Bowie said. Jorge was shot to death by a zoo employee when he approached emergency workers trying to save the zookeeper.

But one big-cat expert said jaguars are naturally mean and erratic.

"They actually are the most unpredictable animal around," said Nick Sculac, director of Big Cats of Serenity Springs, a rescue center near Denver.

The zookeeper died at a hospital about 90 minutes after the attack, zoo officials said. Autopsy results were expected to be released later Sunday, coroner's investigator Raylene Smith said.

She had undergone regular safety training for the exhibit, shadowed veteran keepers and attended mandatory safety meetings, officials said.

"She was an experienced animal keeper," Bowie said. This wasn't like it was her first job working with cats."

The jaguar was about 6 years old and had come to the zoo in March 2005 from the Santa Cruz Zoo in Bolivia, the zoo said. Bowie said a necropsy was planned at the zoo's veterinary hospital, but she did not know when.

The zoo added a 16-month-old female jaguar named Caipora in December, and she was to be paired with Jorge when she was old enough, according to the zoo Web site.

A small number of zoo employees undergo frequent training in the use of firearms for such emergencies. Bowie said the zoo has several kinds of firearms and she did not know what type was used to kill the jaguar, reports AP.

Clayton Freiheit, zoo president and chief executive, issued a written statement saying zoo officials were "deeply saddened" by the incident. "This keeper was a part of our family and we too are grieving the loss of one of our own."

Comments
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
The Royal Wedding and the Silly Season
The Royal Wedding and the Silly Season
Kremlin wants foreign invaders out of Syria
Amnesty International wants world leaders to ignore World Cup 2018 in Russia
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Donald Trump suddenly falls for glorious Russian tradition to hold military parades
Students of UC reinvent the consumption of legumes
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Russia threatens to raise tariffs on US goods worth $538 million
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Venezuela may expect another Panama scenario from 1989
Pentagon's goal in the Middle East is to trigger major war between Israel and Iran
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'