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article imageDenver Zookeeper Dies From Jaguar Attack

By Carolyn E. Price     Feb 24, 2007 in Environment
Male jaguar named Jorge, was killed today after he fatally mauled one of his zookeepers.
The Denver Zoo has announced that a zookeeper died today after a 140-pound jaguar mauled her in the doorway of the exhibit, and then the big cat was fatally shot when it went near emergency workers who were treating the injured woman.
The zookeeper, whose name was not made available, was taken to a Denver hospital, where she later died. The park closed after the shooting. It was planning to re-open on Sudany, but the cats building was to remain closed.
"We are deeply saddened by this loss," said zoo President and CEO Clayton Freiheit, adding that the zoo sends its condolences to her family. "This keeper was a part of our family and we too are grieving the loss of one of our own," he said.
No one knows how the mauling happend or what may have caused the attack, spokeswoman Amy Sarno said. The investigation will most likely look at how the jaguar came into contact with the zookeeper. Zoo policy states that staff is not to be along in any large cat exhibit while the animal is the exhibit. The zookeeper who was killed had undergone regular safety training for the cat exhibit , had shadowed veteran keepers and had attended mandatory safety meetings.
The jaguar, a 6-year-old male named Jorge, was shot by a zoo employee and the public was never at risk, the zoo said. The big cat had been at the zoo for nearly two years.
The facility added a 16-month-old female jaguar named Caipora in December, the zoo's Web site said. The female was to be paired with Jorge when she was old enough.
The Web site notes, "The jaguar is the third largest cat in the world behind the tiger and lion. Yet, they have the most powerful jaw of all the big cats."
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