The zoo where a keeper was killed by a tiger in a “freak accident”, had been told by inspectors to improve its emergency communications systems, it has been reported.
Hamerton Zoo Park said Rosa King, 34, was killed when a tiger entered the enclosure she was in, adding the animal had not escaped, contrary to earlier reports.
The long-serving zookeeper was described as “inspirational” and enjoyed working with her “beloved cats”, friends said, while her mother said she “wouldn’t have done anything else” as a career.
The Daily Telegraph said said the Huntingdon zoo had been criticised following an inspection in 2013 – which ordered the owners to “review and replace ageing safety barriers where the structural integrity of the barrier is compromised”.
The report, quoted in the paper, added: “Inspectors consider that reliance on mobiles to communicate in an emergency is not sufficient and the system needs to be upgraded to ensure that all relevant staff can be contacted simultaneously.”
Owners were also tasked with tailoring escape procedures to the various risks posed by animals at the zoo.
The zoo is said not to have responded to the paper’s requests for comment.
Cambridgeshire Police said the tiger had not been killed and was unharmed.
The case has been referred to Cambridgeshire Coroner’s Office where a spokesman said an inquest would be opened next week.