A Malaysian contract worker died after being attacked by three white tigers at the Singapore Zoo on Thursday. The worker has been identified as Nordin Bin Montong. Zoo officials said the 32-year-old had jumped into a moat at the white tiger enclave and was subsequently mauled to death by the white tigers.
Police said they received a report at 12.30pm about a man sustaining neck injuries at the zoo. Paramedics were called to the scene and Nordin was pronounced dead at 12.45pm. Biswajit Guha, assistant director, Singapore Zoo, said: "Prior to the incident, the zookeepers had actually noticed that the contract worker was behaving erratically. He was throwing things around and as he was walking out of the zoo, he passed comments like 'Goodbye, you won't see me again'. He later cycled back and 5 minutes later, the alarm went off."
Nordin had jumped off the ledge into the water and once he was inside the enclave, the three white tigers mauled him for five to ten minutes, while 20 zookeepers tried desperately to save him by distracting the animals. They were too late, as were the two licensed rifle shooters who were called to the scene.
As a precautionary measure, the white tiger exhibit has been temporarily closed and the 9-year-old tigers, which came from Indonesia, are in confinement for now.
Zoo officials said once the police finish their investigations, they would examine if there is a need to further enhance safety measures.
They added that it is natural for tigers to pounce on any prey and there is no reason to sedate the animals. In a statement, the Singapore Zoo said the white tiger enclosure measurements conform to international safety guidelines imposed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Regular animal safety audits are also conducted every month and there is no risk to any visitor or staff at any time.
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