Zookeeper mauled by white tiger in Japan’s park

Employees of a park in Japan are being questioned after a zookeeper was mauled by a rare white tiger while cleaning its enclosure on Oct 8, Japanese media report.

The incident took place at Hirakawa Zoological Park in the seaside city of Kagoshima around 5pm after visitors had left for the day.
Police are investigating the upkeep of four white tigers at the zoo while labour officials are checking whether safety rules have been violated.

According to rules, a tiger has to be moved from the display chamber to his sleeping chamber before a zookeeper starts cleaning the enclosure.

On Monday, zookeeper Akira Furusho was not separated from the 5-year-old male tiger Riku, director of the park Akinori Ishido said.

One of Furusho’s colleagues found him collapsed and bleeding in the neck in the display chamber and he immediately called for an ambulance.

Although Furusho was rushed to a city hospital, his life could not be saved.

The tiger was sedated with a tranquiliser gun.

The zoo started keeping white tigers in 2011 when a private company presented them a pair.