A Tiger has attacked and killed a female zookeeper at an animal park in Benidorm. The 37-year-old animal caretaker was mauled to death at around 5pm yesterday while inside the tiger's cage trying to clean it up in the Spanish south-eastern coastal resort, a tourist spot popular with Brits.
According to local news websites, she had left a gate to the tiger area open by mistake as she carried out her tasks.
Police called the Red Cross and ambulances rushed to the scene, but the emergency crews were unable to act until the male Tiger had been anaesthetised.
Zoo staff at the Terra Natura park managed to sedate the animal with tranquilliser darts so the emergency workers could enter the enclosure and tend to the woman, who had been badly injured.
The woman's body was later found in the cage and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Reports say the park was open at the time but that the attack was not witnessed by any visitors.
Police are now investigating the horrific incident and have said the reason for the attack is unclear.
A spokesperson for the zoo confirmed an investigation is under way after one of its female workers came into direct contact with one of the big cats while cleaning the enclosures.
Staff are said to be "appalled and deeply affected" by the news of the horrific death of their colleague, who had been working there for eight years.