This is the second zookeeper this month that has been killed while working with tigers. On Sunday morning at New Zealand’s Hamilton zoo, 43-year-old Samatha Kudeweh was attacked and killed by Oz, one of the zoo’s Sumatran tigers. Samantha or Sam as she is more commonly known as had over 20 years experience in the conservation and zoo sector. It has not yet been released as to what happened.
Lance Vervoort, Hamilton City Council’s General Manager Community, says although Samantha’s death is a tragedy for the wider zoo family and international wildlife conservation community, senior zoo staff have ruled out euthanizing Oz.
“We’re aware there is a lot of interest and speculation around how we manage Oz now, and I want to assure the public and zoo supporters that he will not be put down,” Mr Vervoort says.
“Although there is an inherent risk for zoo professionals who manage big cats like Oz, there is no wider ongoing risk. There is no reason for us to put Oz down.”
(pic source: Samatha Kudeweh FB Page)