Zookeeper mauled by tiger dies

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Zookeeper mauled by tiger dies

A 52-year-old zookeeper who was violently mauled by a Siberian tiger last month died of his injuries yesterday in the hospital.

The veteran zookeeper of 27 years, identified only by his surname Shim, was preparing to feed the three-year-old tiger on Nov. 24 at the Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, when the animal escaped from its enclosure and bit him in the neck.

Shim, who was rendered unconscious, was taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery. He was placed in the intensive care unit, but eventually succumbed to his injuries.

The fact that Shim, who worked in an insect exhibit at the zoo for 26 years from 1987 until January this year was suddenly transferred to a team in charge of wild cats has raised questions about the competence of the park’s management as well as the safety measures in place for workers and visitors. The Gwacheon Police Precinct questioned officials at the park and are expected to press charges. They believe negligence resulted in Shim’s death.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]
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