2 Oct 2012

Tiger that killed keeper was considered dangerous

8:30 pm on 2 October 2012

A former keeper at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens has told an inquest he suggested locking a tiger in its den - moments before it killed his co-worker.

Northland coroner Brandt Shortland is hearing evidence about the events surrounding the fatal mauling of Clifford MnCube in May 2009.

Martin Ferreira, who worked with Mr MnCube, says the tiger (Abu) was considered dangerous because it had bitten another keeper three months before and all staff - except Mr MnCube - would lock it into its den while its enclosure was cleaned.

Mr Ferreira said he asked if Abu should be secured before he and McMnCube went into the enclosure but Mr MnCube said he knew what he was doing.

The former keeper has described trying to beat the tiger off with his bare hands, a stick and a fire extinguisher as it mauled his workmate to death.