BBC NEWS | Africa | Zoo tiger kills SA crime suspect
Posted On December 22, 2005
A criminal suspect on the run ended up being mauled to death by a caged tiger, South African police say.
The man took refuge in the Bengal tiger’s cage at the Bloemfontein Zoo. A visitor to the zoo on Sunday noticed a body covered in bite marks in the cage.
“The man was involved in a robbery and was chased by security guards,” police spokeswoman Elsa Gerber told the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
“He had nowhere else to go, so he jumped over the zoo fence,” she added.
The police said that the man had tried to escape after he had robbed a couple with a knife.
The tiger had apparently not tried to eat the body.
Nature conservation officials quoted by SABC said the tigers had been fed on Saturday afternoon and were therefore not hungry.
A gorilla known as Max became a national hero in 1997, when he confronted a thief who jumped into his enclosure while being pursued by police.
Max, who died in his sleep last year, bit the hapless intruder on the buttocks and kept him pinned to a wall, despite being hit by two bullets.