Tiger Kills Wildlife Park Employee and Another Tiger After Jumping Fence

A South African wildlife park employee has died after being attacked by one of the park's tigers.

David Solomon—named Siphiwo Solomon in some reports—was a staff member at the Seaview Predator Park wildlife sanctuary near Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

In a statement posted to its Facebook page, the wildlife park said Solomon was attacked on Wednesday after a Siberian tiger named Jasper "jumped on the exterior fence" of its enclosure and got out.

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The park said the electric fencing in the enclosure was being repaired at the time. It said that Solomon had been walking in a passageway between enclosures when the incident occurred.

The statement read: "David attempted to climb the fence of a different enclosure to get to safety and was pulled off the fence by Jasper.

"We confirm that David obviously had bite marks but it would seem that Jasper broke David's neck when he pulled David off the fence."

The tiger then jumped the exterior fence of a neighboring enclosure where two other Siberian tigers, Judah and Amber, were housed.

Seaview Predator Park said Jasper then fought and killed Judah. Both Jasper and Amber were then tranquilized by a vet so that Solomon and Judah could be retrieved.

The statement said: "When the incident occurred, management immediately closed the park and assisted members of the public who were near the tiger enclosures to safely gather their belongings and exit the park.

"Members of the public who were at the restaurant were kept there until it was safe for them to return to their vehicles and exit the park.

"We are all one big family and the loss of David has left every single one of us heartbroken and traumatised, specifically the staff members and volunteers who were present when the incident occurred.

"David's presence, jokes, willingness to teach our young volunteers and overall bubbling personality is going to be missed so much and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends. May his dear soul rest in peace."

Solomon had worked at the park for around 15 years, the park said, and had known the animals since they were cubs.

The park said there are no plans to destroy Jasper following the attack, and that the incident was "fuelled by hormones."

The tiger has since been returned to its enclosure with the electric fence functional. The park was closed on Thursday.

Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said Kabega Park detectives were investigating the matter, according to news outlet The South African.

Tiger
A stock image shows a Siberian tiger lying down. Seaview Predator Park said Wednesday's attack left staff "heartbroken." Artush/Getty