Tiger in Chinese zoo kills gardener

Updated: 2010-10-15 06:35
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SHENZHEN - A zoo gardener is believed to have climbed over a fence at a zoo on Thursday, then fell into the tiger's pen where he was mauled and died before help could save him, zoo officials in South China's Shenzhen city said.

The 54-year-old gardener, Sheng Jinhua, was found in the tiger's pen in Shenzhen Safari Park at about 2: 45 pm. Zookeepers called police and an ambulance before they drove a vehicle into the pen to intervene, but it was too late.

Doctors arriving at the park declared Sheng had died from severe bite wounds.

Zoo officials said Sheng, who started work at the zoo in July on a two-year contract, violated safety rules when he climbed over the fence. Police are investigating the death.