A zookeeper and two animals have been killed after two critically endangered Sumatran tigers escaped from a zoo on Borneo island in Indonesia. The female tigers, both aged about 18 months, escaped the Zoo on Friday, February 5, after a rain landslide damaged their enclosure. On Saturday, February 6, one of the animals was captured after it was hit with a tranquiliser dart. But the other tiger was shot dead after it behaved aggressively and attempts to tranquilise it failed.
According to reports by the AFP, the zookeeper aged 47 was found dead close to the tigers’ enclosure after the animals escaped. He had severe bite wounds and scratches on his body. An ostrich and a monkey, were also found dead near the enclosure.
Zoo officials in the town of Singkawang, West Kalimantan were hoping to catch both animals alive but said they were forced to shoot one of the tigers.
“We tried with a tranquilliser gun first but it didn’t work, so we were forced to shoot the tiger because it was already behaving very aggressively,” Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, the head of a local conservation agency, told AFP.
“We were afraid it would escape to the nearest neighbourhood,” he added. “Although we tried our best to catch it alive, our priority is humans’ safety.”
The animal that was shot with a tranquilizer is now being monitored at the zoo by medical experts. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with fewer than 400 believed to be left in the wild according to the National Geography Association.