WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A New Zealand zoo decided Monday that it won't euthanize a Sumatran tiger that attacked and killed a veteran zookeeper.
The male tiger named Oz killed 43-year-old Samantha Kudeweh Sunday morning inside the animal's enclosure at the Hamilton Zoo. Kudeweh had been a zookeeper for more than 20 years and was the mother of two children, aged nine and three.
The zoo, which houses five Sumatran tigers, is owned and operated by the Hamilton City Council. Lance Vervoort, the council's general manager for the community, said in a statement there was always a risk for zoo staff in managing big animals like Oz but the tiger didn't pose a wider risk.
"Oz is a significant animal for his species," Vervoort said. "He is the father of our two cubs, and he is vital to the ongoing breeding program to conserve this rare species."