Hamilton Zoo's Tiger "Oz" Will Not Be Euthanised

Publish Date
Monday, 21 September 2015, 4:04PM

The Sumatran tiger, Oz, that killed Hamilton Zoo worker Samantha Kudeweh yesterday will not be euthanised.

The decision comes after more than 10 thousand people signed a Facebook petition asking for the tiger's life to be saved.

A former zoo worker who had an up close and personal encounter with Oz was hoping for this outcome. Patrick, who used to work at Auckland Zoo where Oz was kept before being moved to Hamilton Zoo, told Danny Watson there must have been some level of human error in yesterday's incident.

"He definitely shouldn't be euthanised. These animals are taken into captivity knowing that they're extremely deadly and then all these health and safety procedures are put in place to limit anything happening," he explained.

The Hamilton community remains in shock following the death of the 43-year-old who had worked at the zoo for 20 years, and since her death Hamilton City mayor Julie Hardaker said Hamiltonians have been sharing in the grief of zoo staff.

“There’s been a lot of outpour on social media in support of the staff and obviously condolences to the family, friends and zoo staff,” explained Hardaker.

“I think Hamiltonians are really grieving about what’s happened.”

Hardaker said little is known about the circumstances of the attack and while investigations are underway the focus is on supporting staff through the process.

“They’re a great bunch of staff that work at the zoo so they’ve been support each other and the council, of course, has had support in place.”

The Ministry for Primary Industries, WorkSafe, and Police are investigating the accident.

"We don't know the full story at all yet. Yesterday the police and WorkSafe where there and MBI are doing their investigation, so we really have to wait and see what they deliver."

Nicoholas van der Sande is the father of another worker at the zoo and says he's been behind the scene.

He describes the zoo as a very safe, very well run operation and keepers never go into the enclosures with dangerous animals.

"I've always been very impressed to the extent that I've felt comfortable about my daughter working there and working with the dangerous animals. They've got a very well designed set up for the tigers so I think what happened is tragic. I think it was a freak accident, I honestly don't know what would've happened."

Hamilton Zoo is expected to remain closed until Thursday.

Newstalk ZB

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