A tiger attacked and killed a worker at the Seaview Predator Park on Wednesday afternoon.
SIBERIAN TIGER ESCAPED ENCLOSURE JUST BEFORE ATTACK
In a statement, the park said the electric fencing in the enclosure housing Siberian tigers Jasper and Jade was in the process of being repaired when Jasper jumped on the exterior fence and got out.
“The worker, David Solomon, was, unfortunately, in the passageway between enclosures walking towards the water supply taps when the incident occurred.”
It furthermore stated that David attempted to climb the fence of a different enclosure to get to safety and was pulled off the fence by Jasper. the tiger.
“We confirm that David obviously had bite marks but it would seem that Jasper broke David’s neck when he pulled David off the fence.”
THE SIBERIAN JUMPED INTO ANOTHER TIGER ENCLOSURE
According to the statement, Jasper then proceeded to jump the exterior fence of the next door enclosure which houses Siberian Tigers named Judah and Amber.
A fight ensued between Judah and Jasper and Judah, one of the tigers was killed.
“Jasper, being an entire male Siberian tiger, wanted the attention of Amber, an entire female Siberian Tiger.”
THE PARK WAS IMMEDIATELY CLOSED
Management immediately closed the Park and assisted members of the public who were near the tiger enclosures to safely gather their belongings and exit the Park.
“Members of the public who were at the restaurant were kept there until it was safe for them to return to their vehicles and exit the Park.”
TIGER TRANQUILISED FOR REMAINS OF BOTH WORKER AND TIGER COULD BE REMOVED
In the statement, the Park said surrounding neighbours, Kabega Park SAPS, Gardmed Ambulance Service Kragga Kamma Veterinary Hospital, and Nature Conservation were immediately contacted when the incident occurred.
“Dr. Dave from Kragga Kamma Vet was on site to tranquilise Jasper and Amber so that the remains of David could be safely retrieved as well as the remains of Judah, the tiger that was killed by Jasper.”
DAVID SOLOMON HAS BEEN WORKING AT THE PARK FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS
David Solomon had been at the Seaview Predator Park for about 15 years and knew each of the animals since they were cubs.
“We are all one big family and the loss of David has left every single one of us heartbroken and traumatised, specifically the staff members and volunteers who were present when the incident occurred.
“David’s presence, jokes, willingness to teach our young volunteers and overall bubbling personality is going to be missed so much and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends. May his dear soul rest in peace. “
According to the Park all the large tigers are safely contained in their enclosures and the electric fencing is fully functional.
“Jasper’s incident is a first at the Park and was obviously fuelled by hormones. Jasper is now quite calm and content sharing an enclosure with Amber and there are no plans to destroy Jasper.
“We apologise to our visitors who had their visit cut short yesterday by the incident and would like to assure future visitors that they are quite safe.”
The Park said that at no stage yesterday was any member of the public in any immediate danger.
“Our request that visitors leave immediately is standard Protocol should such an incident occur. To the guests at the restaurant who offered assistance and kept our young visitors and resident children occupied while we were handling the emergency, thank you for your kindness and support.”
POLICE INVESTIGATING THE TIGER ATTACK
Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg, police spokesperson said Kabega Park Detectives are investigating an inquest after a man was attacked at a Lion Park in Port Elizabeth.
“It is alleged that on Wednesday at approximately 15:30 an employer was working on an electric fence at one of the enclosures.
“It is further alleged that a tiger jumped out of its enclosure and attacked the worker.”
Janse van Rensburg said Solomon died on the scene.