News of the tiger’s escape came after Paris’ public transport authority, RATP, briefly closed down a tramline in the 15th arrondissement, according to France Info – the public radio that broke the news.
Two eyewitnesses told the radio station said they saw the tiger descend onto the tracks.
“At first, we thought it was a technical incident,” said Thomas, a passenger of tramway 3a. “Then the driver told us it was a tiger. Naturally, we wondered what was going on. We were able to leave 15 to 20 minutes later.”
In the meantime, armed police and circus staff had rushed to the scene. At least two shots were reportedly heard.
Reportedly there were no attempts to put the animal to sleep, and evacuate, but just right forward killing was a chosen option. The heartless reaction of the authorities killing the magestic animal damages even further already plagued by misfortunes reputation of the city, losing its image of a dream touristic destination.
Brigitte Bardot Foundation and animal defenders across Europe were indignant about the accident, blaming Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo indifference to animal suffering in circuses. Some witnesses from neighbourhood also claimed they saw the three tigers jammed in a small cage of a few square meters “in misery”:
The growing protest about barbaric torture of animals in circus for fun of the least cultivated audiences, forced many big cities to ban use of wild and exotic animals in entertainment. Paris is clearly lagging behind the progressive and humanistic world trends – one year ago Iran prohibited animal circus.
The tiger that killed Zoo keeper Rosa King has not been put down so far and was unharmed, police said. However there are concerns of the animal rights defenders, who oppose the idea of killing the wild animal for exposing natural instincts. Tigers belong to the wilde, but not to the cages in zoo.
A joint investigation by police and Huntingdonshire District Council – which is responsible for licensing the zoo – is currently under way. Rosa King, 34, died at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire on 29 of May as a result of encounter with one of the tigers, entering anciently the enclosure. Ms.King was a very experienced animal caretaker, however her skills of working with big cats did not protect her from the abhorrent end.
The tragic death of zookeeper raises questions of public safety and ethics of keeping wild animals in the zoo – it is neither educational, no entertaining. The exposure of the keepers risking lives deprives the entire endeavour of the maintenance of wild animals in captivity of any joy. Even more, it is to be blamed to those who pay for the tickets while knowing that any moment an accident can occur, and a human life would be sacrificed for a distant glance at a wild beast one can watch close-up at any digital screen.
The friends of Rosa King are sure she would not approve of the killing of the tiger to whose natural predator instincts she had fallen a victim. The responsibility lies on those who regard zoo as an entertainment, and who pay money for the ticket encouraging to import wildlife, sentencing the tigers to life-long misery in captivity, and the keepers risking to die an atrocious death in claws of the beasts. Hopefully in 21 century one can switch to more civilized ways of spending bank holidays, than watching people mauled by tigers like at arena of Ancient Rome. #BANzoo #RespectNATURE