Visitors reported seeing staff members trying to distract the big cat with meat and by screaming at the animal.
One woman visiting the park at the time of the incident was near the enclosure when staff members told her and her family to run. Staff members feared that a big cat was on the loose while the woman and her family hid in an office. She recalls seeing other zookeepers trying to help King.
King was a zookeeper for 14 years.
Police were called about the incident, with a medical helicopter landing to bring the critically wounded King to get medical attention. Personnel was able to safely and quickly escort visitors out of the zoo. Visitors that were near "Land of the Tiger" at the time of the attack saw zookeepers trying to assist King and were also panicked by the events.
King's mother stated that her daughter had always loved working with big cats. She told BBC "she wouldn’t have done anything else, it's what she has always done." King often held fundraisers for the animals and preferred to work with big cats.
King's mother has not mentioned if she will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the zoo at this time.
The death of King has sparked debates around the world questioning the safety of zookeepers when handling deadly animals. Last year, Stacey Konwiser was also killed in an incident involving large cats. She was cleaning the enclosure where the animals sleep when the attack occurred.
The zoo calls the event a "freak accident" and has not detailed how King became trapped with the tiger. Zoo officials have also not stated who was responsible for the attack.
"We are sorry but our staff are too distressed to speak directly to the media," they posted to their website.
"We are cooperating fully with the investigation that is currently being conducted by Huntingdonshire District Council Environmental Health Department. The zoo will remain closed for the time being. We are not able to comment further at this time," they posted.
Initial reports following the incident stated that the zoo was unsure of the actions they would take against the tiger. The zoo responded openly that "after extensive consultation with the staff at the zoo, we have decided not to put down the tiger. This decision has been fully supposed by Rosa's family," they wrote.
The zoo remained closed for several days following the death.
Police reported that at no point did the tiger leave the enclosure at the time of the attack. The incident happened at 11 a.m., just an hour after the zoo opened to visitors.
A memorial fund for King was started so that the fallen zookeeper can have a memorial at Hamerton Zoo Park.
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