Police have confirmed they are now investigating the death of a zookeeper killed by a tiger.
Rosa King, 34, died at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire at about 11:15am on Monday.
Police attended the scene, but on Tuesday morning said Ms King’s death was “non suspicious” and they were not investigating.
However, they have subsequently said they are now jointly investigating with the district council.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokeswoman said the decision to collaborate on the case had been made on Tuesday afternoon, but could not say why the force had changed its mind.
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A spokesman for the zoo said it was “co-operating fully with the investigation that is currently being conducted by Huntingdonshire District Council Environmental Health Department”.
The district council, which is responsible for issuing the zoo’s licence, said: “Both the police and the council are working together within routine protocols to progress investigations into the incident as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
Peter Davis, who was at the zoo with his family when the tragedy occurred, said when they were told to evacuate the area he and others sheltered in a room near the enclosure.
He said: “As we came out, we were sort of ushered further away, but we were still looking at what was going on, and you could obviously see the keepers all distressed, not really knowing what to do, heads in their hands.
“A couple of them were throwing meat over the enclosure to try and entice the tiger away, but it was going on probably for 10 to 15 minutes.”
Ms King, who is understood to be from Chippenham, in Wiltshire, was dedicated to her job at the zoo where she had worked for 14 years, her mother said on Tuesday.
“She wouldn’t have done anything else, it’s what she has always done,” her mother Andrea King said.
The tiger that killed Ms King has not been put down and was unharmed, police said on Tuesday.
In an earlier statement released by Hamerton Zoo Park on the day of the incident, the zoo described it as a “freak accident”, adding: “At no point during the incident did any animals escape their enclosures and at no point was public safety affected in any way.”
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