Staff member killed in tiger attack at zoo in England

A zookeeper has died after she was attacked by a tiger at Hamerton Zoo Park in England, local officials say. Only few details have been released.

The incident happened at around 11:15 a.m. on Monday when emergency services were called to reports of a serious incident at the zoo in Cambridgeshire, though authorities declined to provide information for more than 7 hours.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary said in a statement just after 6:30 p.m. that a tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper. "Sadly the female zoo keeper died at the scene," the statement said, providing no further details.

The identity of the employee was not immediately released.

"We are sorry but our staff are too distressed to speak directly to the media, as one of our colleagues was killed at Hamerton Zoo Park, this morning," the zoo said in a statement. "This appears to have been a freak accident. A full investigation is currently underway."

In the hours after the incident, visitors at the zoo said they fled after hearing other people warn that a tiger had escaped, and some wrote on social media that visitors had been attacked by a tiger. But police and the zoo denied those reports, saying no animals escaped and no visitors were hurt.

A large number of emergency services responded to the scene, including police officers, two ambulance crews and the Magpas Air Ambulance. The fate of the tiger was not immediately known.

As a result of Monday's incident, Hamerton Zoo Park was evacuated and closed for the remainder of the day. It will also remain closed on Tuesday. "We will give more information as soon as we can," the zoo said.

Hamerton Zoo Park is a 25-acre wildlife park in the village of Hamerton, located 23 miles (37 kilometers) northwest of Cambridge, or 63 miles (101 kilometers) north of London. It is home to more than 100 species of mammals, birds and reptiles ranging from the tiny Sebas Bat to the White Tiger.

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