Statement to media: Tiger attack on Hamilton Zoo keeper


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20 September 2015

We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of a female Hamilton Zoo staff member today after an attack by one of the zoo’s Sumatran tigers this morning.

At this point we will not be identifying the staff member who has died.

We are working alongside New Zealand Police, Ministry of Primary Industries and Workplace Safety to investigate the circumstances of the incident which has led to one of our staff member’s death.

There are a number of investigations still taking place at the zoo today.

We will not be commenting on the events which have led to this tragedy until all relevant investigations have been completed. However, we can confirm the tiger in the incident is Oz, the zoo’s male tiger, and he is safely contained in his enclosure.

All other animals at the zoo are appropriately contained.

At no time today have any zoo animals NOT been contained. There has been no risk to visitors at the zoo today or the public.

Our focus at this time is on providing the adequate support for our staff and family members who have been affected by this tragic incident.

Hamilton Zoo will remain closed until Thursday while investigations are completed and arrange for a blessing of the site.

This is a very difficult situation for all zoo staff, family members of the zoo staff member who has died, their family and the extended zoo family.

We ask the media and public to allow our zoo staff to grieve for their colleague and friend and give them time and privacy to cope with this event.



Jeff Neems
Communication Advisor
07 838 6509
021 818 564

Page reviewed: 20 Sep 2015 2:55pm