White tiger mauls and kills zookeeper in Japan

Tokyo: A white tiger attacked and killed a zookeeper in its enclosure in southern Japan, officials said on Tuesday. The 40-year old zookeeper was found bleeding from the neck in the tiger’s cage. When taken to hospital, he was pronounced dead.

Akira Furusho, was discovered bleeding from the neck and officials believe he was mauled by one of the zoo’s four rare white tigers, media reports said.

“A zookeeper was found collapsed in a cage, bleeding,” a local police official told AFP. The attack happened late on Monday at the Hirakawa Zoological Park in the southern city of Kagoshima.

The zoo said that the tiger was sedated with a tranquiliser gun after the attack, as rescue workers and police rushed to the scene. There was no immediate word on the fate of the tiger responsible for the attack.

Launched in 1972, the zoo is run by a public corporation under contract with the municipal government, reported The Japan Times.

Terrifying incidents of zoo attacks around the world

  • In July 2016, a woman was driving through the tiger enclosure, Badaling Wildlife World animal park near Beijing — it was a permitted activity at the zoo. But when she got out of the car and appeared to walk around to the other side, a tiger pounced on her and dragged her into bushes. In an attempt to rescue her, the woman’s mother was killed by a second tiger, while the daughter managed to escape alive.
  • A 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla named Harambe was killed by a zookeeper at the Cincinnati Zoo in May, 2016. The reason being that the gorilla had grabbed and dragged a three-year-old boy who had climbed into his enclosure. Harambe climbed down to the moat where the boy was, and he dragged the child through the water, propping him up and pushing him over, before carrying him up onto dry land. The incident was recorded on video and gained worldwide media coverage and commentary, which included controversy over whether it was the right choice to kill the animal.
  • Sydney tourist Kathryn Warburton wanted to get a close up picture of Binky the polar bear inside his enclosure at the Alaska Zoo in 1994. But she carelessly got too close to the male bear after scaling two safety rails. Binky reached through the bars and clamped his jaws around her thigh. The woman who was 29-year-old then broke free from his grasp after other tourists gathered around and hit Binky with sticks.
  • This time, it was the very appealing panda! What is not popularly known about them is their very capable jaws. Gu Gu the oanda at the Beijing Zoo attacked three separate visitors over a course of four years. Once, a drunken jumped into the panda enclosure to cuddle with 240lb Gu Gu, but he bit her on the legs. The second time, Gu Gu tore off chunks of flesh from a teenage boy’s legs. In 2009, when a man jumped into the panda enclosure to retrieve a toy his child had dropped, Gu Gu went for the legs again. Workers had to pry his jaws open with tools.

(With inputs from Agencies)